Bean Burritos

flour tortillas (see miscellaneous recipes)

refried beans (instructions below)

salsa or taco sauce according to taste (optional)

finely chopped onion (optional)

grated cheese, 3 T. for each burrito

Assemble  burritos:  using the back of a spoon, spread tortilla with 1/4th of the refried beans (about 1/4 cup),  sprinkle on 3 T. cheese.  Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds or so. Add salsa or taco sauce, and onions. Fold sides in about 1 inch, then roll up burrito style.  Makes 4 burritos, two per serving.

Making  Refried  Beans:   mix in small pan:  1 c. cooked, drained  pinto  beans saved out  when  making Potlicker Pintos,  1 T. water (use a bit more water if needed), 1/4 tsp. garlic salt.  Simmer on  low  heat,  covered,  stirring  often,  until beans are extra tender.  Turn off heat, mash with potato masher, adding a bit more water if needed.  Can make ahead,  chill,  then freeze.  Enough to make 4 burritos.

Mexican Rice

2 c. very hot water                       1 T. minced onion

2 cubes chicken bouillon                 1 c. dry white long grain rice

1 T. oil                                       2 to 4 T. tomato sauce

First of all, mix the hot water and bouillon; let sit to dissolve.

In pan on medium high: put in oil, allow to get hot; add onion and rice, stir and cook until lightly brown (burns quickly, watch/stir carefully). Add water/bouillon mixture and tomato sauce, stir.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low.  Cook 14 minutes.  Turn off heat,  let pan sit covered 10 minutes,  then tip lid slightly and cool 5 minutes.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Pinto Bean Chili

2 c. dry pinto beans + 6 to 7 c. water


1/2 lb. ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can crushed tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

2 to 3 T. chili powder (or more if desired)

up to 1 tsp. ground cumin

Sort beans/rinse; cook in water using crockpot method in miscellaneous recipes.

In a large pot:  brown meat and onion, until  well  browned  (at this point, save 1 T. cooked meat/onion for ramen spaghetti; wrap, chill, freeze until needed).  Add garlic.  Add can of crushed tomatoes.  Stir in  chili powder and cumin.  Add cooked beans and  all cooking liquids.  Bring to a boil,  turn heat to low,  cover.  Let simmer about 30 minutes; stir occasionally.  Salt/pepper to taste.  Makes 7 to 9 servings.

Serve with corn muffins and celery sticks.

Corn Muffins

1 c. unbleached flour                      2 to 4 T. sugar

1 c. stoneground cornmeal              2 large eggs

4 T. dry milk powder                      6 T. oil (1/3 cup + 1 T.)

1 T. baking powder                        1 c. water

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Preheat  oven  to  425°. Grease a 12 muffin tin. Mix flour, cornmeal, dry milk,  baking powder, salt, sugar. In a separate bowl: mix eggs, oil, water; then add to dry ingredients, and  stir just to moisten.  Spoon  batter evenly into muffin tins.  Bake  14 to 18  minutes, until  golden  brown  and  tops  bounce back to touch.  Makes one dozen.

Cowboy Chowder

2 c. dry pinto beans + 6 cups water


1 T. oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 to 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can crushed tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

*potato water saved/frozen from making garlic mashed potatoes, thawed

1 T. dried parsley

1/2 to 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

water as needed: about 2 or 3 cups (use some of it to ‘rinse’ the tomato can,    and then add that + water needed to the chowder)

sea salt/pepper to taste

Sort beans/rinse; cook in water using crockpot method in miscellaneous recipes.

In large pot: heat oil on medium high. Add onions and carrots; cook and brown about 12  minutes;  stir as needed.  Add garlic,  stir/cook  for 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes, potato water, cooked pintos and liquids, parsley, worcester- shire sauce.  Stir all, add water as needed.  Bring to boil, turn heat to simmer, cover.  Simmer until it thickens somewhat, and  flavors  meld;  about 50 to 70 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 8 servings.

*the saved potato water (2 to 3 cups) gives this chowder extra flavor.

Optional:  If  you  wish,  add  2 c. cooked  brown  rice  to  this  chowder for a complete meal, and omit serving it with oatmeal muffins.

One of the goals in frugal thrifty meals is to waste nothing. You paid your hard earned money for it,  so use it up!   Sadly,  a very high % of food in the U.S. is thrown away.

Oatmeal Muffins

These yummy muffins are a family favorite….

1/4 c. dry milk powder                     1/3 c. oil

1 c. dry quick oatmeal                      1 and 1/4 c. unbleached flour**

1 c. water                                      1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 T. vinegar                                    1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 large egg                                     1 tsp. baking powder

2 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 400º. Grease a 12-muffin tin. In large bowl: mix dry milk and oatmeal. Add water, vinegar; let sit a few minutes.  Then add egg, sugar, oil; stir. Add flour,  baking soda, salt,  baking powder. Stir all with a fork JUST to moisten. DO NOT over-mix.  Spoon batter evenly in greased muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Done when tops bounce back to touch. Makes one dozen.

**I like to use 1 c. unbleached flour + 1/4 c. whole wheat flour.  It gives these muffins even more whole grain taste/nutrition.

Pantry Pizza

Pantry Pizza

If using sausage, cook and crumble 1/4 lb. now;  can add some minced onions.

For pepperoni: take baggie out of freezer, thaw while preparing sauce/dough.

Sauce; stir together, cover, set aside:

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce         2 tsp. italian seasonings

1 tsp.  garlic salt                       pinch or two of crushed red pepper(optional)

Dough (put in a gallon freezer zip-loc bag for easy mixing):

1 tsp. sugar

1 T. dry yeast

1 tsp. sea salt

2 c. unbleached flour + 1 c. whole wheat flour  [can switch this, and use 1 c. unbleached + 2 c. w. w. flour]


1 T. vegetable oil

1 c. + 2 T. warm water

Seal bag. Squish/knead bag until dough is a smooth ball (5 to 8 minutes).  Put dough into an oiled bowl (1 tsp. oil),  cover, let dough raise about 30 minutes.

Generously grease (using shortening or oil) a 16-inch pizza pan or an 11x15x1 pan.  Heat oven to 475º.

Form pizza crust in chosen/greased pan  (oil or grease hands first, this keeps a ‘barrier’ on dough for holding the sauce).  Press dough evenly until to all edges (half-way up sides if using a pan with 1″ sides). Spoon sauce onto dough. Using  back of spoon, swirl/spread sauce evenly over all.

If using cooked sausage/onions, add it on top of sauce now.

Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 c. grated mozzarella evenly over sauce. Sprinkle 3- 5 T. dry parmesan evenly over mozzarella.

If using pepperoni: place it in single layer on top of cheeses now.

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes ON LOWEST OVEN RACK.  Check bottom  of  crust, if not golden browned, leave pizza in for another minute or two [when cheese is lightly  browned, and edges look cooked: the bottom is usually done].  Remove pizza from oven.  Allow  to cool  a few minutes.  Cut into 8 even pieces/slices. One meal per person is 2 slices.  Pizza can be cooled,  wrapped in saran or put in baggies, chilled/frozen. Thawed  pizza  will  re-heat  well  in microwave (30 seconds per slice).                 

Three-Bean Salad

This salad had very good reviews when made as a sample for a class recently…

2 c. well-drained/cooked/cooled pinto beans     Dressing:

1/4 c. well-drained, cooked/cooled lentils         1/3 c. vegetable oil

1 and 1/4 c. well-drained green beans              about 2/3 c. cider vinegar

about 3 c. finely shredded cabbage                  1/4 to 1/2 c. sugar (to taste)

1 to 2 stalks celery and tops, diced                  sea salt and pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/2 c. finely diced onions                     1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Heat vinegar and sugar just until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat, add oil, salt, pepper; allow to cool until just warmish.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl: mix the pinto beans,  lentils,  green  beans, cabbage, celery, onions.  Add dressing, stir well.  Chill.  Makes 4 to 6 generous servings.

Potlicker Pintos

Potlicker Pintos

Dry beans are little powerhouses of nutrition. Pintos are usually the best priced of dry beans, which is why we are using them for our frugal thrifty meals. Note that we will be taking out some of the cooked pintos in this recipe to save for 2 other recipes.

3 c. dry pinto beans, sorted and rinsed

8 c. water (plus more as needed)

Bacon drippings + margarine or butter to equal 4 to 5 T.

1 to 2 T. garlic salt

1 to 2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

Cook beans/water in a crock pot according to method in miscellaneous recipes.

Take out: 1 c. cooked beans, no liquids (for burritos);  and 2 c. cooked beans,   no liquids (for three bean salad).  Chill overnight, then freeze until needed.

To remaining beans/liquids: add bacon grease, margarine,  garlic salt to taste, onion powder, pepper.   More water as needed.   Simmer all on low,  30 to 45 minutes or longer to allow it ‘thicken’ a bit; stir occasionally.  Makes 8 servings.


1 c. stoneground cornmeal

1 c. unbleached flour

3 T. dry milk powder

5 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 and 1/3 c. water

1 large egg

5 T. oil

1 to 2 T. sugar

Heat oven to 425˚. Grease a square pan. Mix cornmeal, flour, dry milk, baking powder, salt. In a small bowl:  mix water, eggs, oil, sugar; add to dry mixture, stir ONLY to moisten.  Pour into greased pan.  Let sit 5 minutes, carefully place in preheated oven. Bake 12 to 16 minutes (until top bounces back to touch, and is golden brown).  9 servings