Use Your Bean and Rice to the Occasion

October 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm 4 comments

Food Storage Quick Tip #7- Beans and Rice

Over the last several months, I have made observations about food storage every where I can.  One thing that I’ve noticed is that rice shelves in store are never fully stocked.  Also never fully stocked are beans, specifically canned beans.  I find that interesting.

Rice and beans together are considered by many as a perfect food.  Rice is the staple food for two thirds of the world’s population, and in many countries, it is illegal to store food (we are blessed!)  As a storage item, they are relatively nonperishable, and can be modified to any cuisine.  In the event there is little availability of meat, beans can replace protein and vitamins needed.  And they are LOW FAT!  Beans and rice served together for a perfect union of nutrition and taste.  We eat refried beans with Spanish rice.  We have soups and other dishes.  Even salads can include rice or beans.  Traditionally, humanity has been serving beans over rice for centuries.

One of the big, hUgE, GIANT hinderances with rice and (dry) beans is how the heck do you cook the stuff?  I admit that I have not been successful cooking rice until sometime in the last decade.  My mom used minute rice, so I never had a “real” home cooked bowl of rice until I was out of college.  Of course, it took me years to humble myself and figure out I needed some guidance.  Then Voila!  It is almost as second nature as making popcorn!  Knowlege has made all the difference.  There are as many methods to cooking rice and beans as there are varieites of the staple.  You probably have your favorite, but for those who want the basics, here are a couple of easy recipes that have worked for me.

RICE – Just like your husband’s mother used to make 🙂
3 cups water
1 cup rice
bring water to a boil in saucepan.  When rolling boil is achieved, add rice and stir.  Put on the lid and reduce heat to low (some peple reduce to off).  DO NO REMOVE THE LID.  DO NOT STIR.  Set the timer for 25 minutes, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Done.

DRY BEANS – (Not to be attempted when you have only 10 minutes before your husband arrives home)
Soak 2 cups of dry beans for several hours in plenty of water (some people do this overnight).  Drain.  Add 6 cups water to beans and heat to boiling.  Boil gently, stirring frequently until tender.  This will take between 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on variety.  Dry beans expand (boy, do they expand!) and absorb water as they cook, so more water should be added as you go to prevent schoching.  Test often and come to your own decision when beans are tender and taste done.  Salt and spices can be added anytime during the last stages of preparation.  Hint:  Do not go to the library and leave the beans on the stove simmering!  Burned beans are BAD NEWS!

Assignment A:  Go to your pantry again.  Using the food storage calculator, http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm calculate what quantities of beans and rice you need for 3 months.  Set and begin to carry out a goal based on your family tastes, needs, and affordability.  Or B: Make rice and beans for one meal this week.  Recipes on the internet are plentiful if you don’t know one you like.

FUN FACTS:
A common term referring to rice and beans is used to describe any pairing that works together well.  “They are like rice and beans”.
– A well-known term when referring to beans is, “the magical fruit”.

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Entry filed under: Cooking Beans, Cooking Rice, Emergency Preparedness, Food Staples, Food Storage, Home Storage, Recipes, Self Reliance, Storing Rice, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , .

A Penny for Your Thoughts Shelf Confidence

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebecca  |  October 14, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Great article! Thanks for a fantastic blog!

    Reply
  • 2. Shannon  |  October 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Love beans and rice:) It did take a bit of time to learn how to cook and a few burnt pans of beans but thats okay.

    Reply
  • 3. Chris Ruggles  |  October 19, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Interesting info. Its difficult to find different ways to make the same stuff over and over, especially in food storage. I have a great source of recipies and information at http://www.marlenesmagic.com if your interested.

    Reply
  • 4. Brandy  |  October 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I like that you use more water for your rice. I use the 3 to 1 amount of water, but rice cooking instructions generally call for a 2 to 1 ratio. I leave my lid off the rice so I can stir it, and I like my rice a liitle softer–like you.

    Reply

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