Hilariously Easy Slow Cooker Bean Stew

I can't believe how easy this recipe is. I really can’t.

It doesn't seem possible that a recipe could have this few ingredients, cost this little, be this delicious... and still be this easy. But it is. Yet another candidate for my next collection of top Laughably Cheap recipes!

I hope you enjoy this humble and hearty soup recipe as much as we did.


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Easy Slow Cooker Bean Stew

Ingredients:
1 cup white beans
5 cups water or stock
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 onion, chopped very coarsely
A dash or two of Tabasco or cayenne pepper, optional
Black pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Combine everything in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Check beans for tenderness once or twice during the last hour to avoid overcooking.

2) Serve with optional rice or brown rice.

Serves 4-5.
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Recipe notes:
1) This recipe is so hilariously easy and so self-explanatory that all I could think to offer was a rundown of the cost:

Beans, ½ of a 1-pound bag: 65c
Onion: 30c
Canned tomatoes: 1.25
Spices: 20c
Total Cost: about $2.40, or about 50-60c per serving.


Related Posts:
The Six Core Principles of Healthy, Inexpensive Cooking [FULL ARCHIVE]
Thoughts On Recipe Development
Cookbook Review: Mollie Katzen's The Heart of the Plate
Baking for Beginners: How to Make a Sponge Cake



How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

CK Links--Friday July 25, 2014

Links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

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After a dozen or so diets, I came to the obvious conclusion. The easy answers that I wanted to hear weren't the real answers at all. (The Telegraph)

Lay off the almond milk, you ignorant hipsters! (Mother Jones)

CK readers, you were right all along! "The more informed you are, the more likely you choose store brands." (Bloomberg, via Addicted to Canning)

"Food prices have soared." "No they haven't." Worthwhile in part to show how data can be hilariously easy to spin. (Carpe Diem)
Related: Guess What? We Spend Less Than Ever On Food.

Even the ancient Romans avoided local foods. (Rachel Lauden, via Jayson Lusk)
Related: Sometimes, it's more ethical to buy your food from far away.

"...almost no humans are able to force themselves to see honestly and without substantial bias on all topics." (Overcoming Bias)

Statistically significant studies... aren't significant. (Pacific Standard)

Now, I don't begrudge people the opportunity to make mistakes. (Lacking Ambition)

20 recommended books that will make you smarter. And richer. (Farnam Street)

Had this been illegal in 1972, every mother in America would be in jail. (Bloomberg)

When I found out that every single one of my neighbors for the past 10 years didn't have to pay a cent for their house, my reaction was, why bother trying so hard? (Financial Samurai)


Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

MORE! Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen

Readers: I'm back with yet another compendium of the very best and most laughably cheap recipes here at Casual Kitchen. For readers new around these parts, "laughably cheap" is an expression we use here for a recipe that's so inexpensive and so good that it literally makes you laugh out loud.

Well, my previous Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes post is now nearly five years old, and over those five years it became one of Casual Kitchen's most viewed posts. But since then, however, I've published a ton of new recipes, many of which are (believe it or not) even easier and less expensive.

Well, it's time to share those even easier and less expensive recipes, with readers old and new, in an easily accessible format. So today, I bring you The NEXT Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes at CK. I hope you find it useful. More importantly, I hope it helps you eat well--and save time and money while you're at it. Enjoy!

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Chicken in Tomato Sauce
One of CK’s easiest recipes for around $1.25 per serving.

Easy Curried Chickpeas and Tofu
Rich, delicious and spicy, and only about $1.25 per serving.

Peanut Pineapple Stew
Delicious, intriguing and healthy at just 80c per serving!

North African Lemon Chicken
An exotic yet easy recipe (with an admittedly unusual origin) that serves 5-6 for less than $7.00 total.

Roasted Zucchini and Chickpea Soup
An elegant and rich soup like nothing you've tasted before, at just 99c per serving.

Thai-Style Tofu in Coconut and Lime Sauce
Serve 4-6 for less than $7.00 in total with this easy-to-make yet complex-tasting dish.

Curried Corn
You’ll laugh out loud at how easy it is to cook this unusual recipe. Just over $1.00 a serving.

Savory Moroccan Chickpeas
Perfect for vegetarians, vegans and even gluten-free eaters. Only $1.15 per serving.

Braised Red Cabbage
This savory and easy recipe involves “studded onions.” I shall say no more.

Hilariously Easy Chicken Soup
The name says it all. It's simply amazing that a soup this easy could be this good.

Potato Peanut Curry
You'll never guess how easy it is to make this simple but exotic recipe. Just 70-75c per serving.

Spicy Sauteed Beets
You'll never look at the humble beet in the same way again.

Mujadarrah
Simple, delicious Middle-Eastern comfort food at a mere 50c a serving.

Easy Porotos Granados
This dish is so good it taught me to stop hating squash.

Yellow Split Pea Soup
Barely 10 minutes of prep time and a hard-to-believe per serving cost of under 40c.

Indian Mung Bean Stirfry
This vegan-friendly dish packs a big punch of nutrition for just 80c a serving.

Tomato Lentil Soup with Orzo
Adapted from one of our favorite cookbooks, Vegetarian Soup Cuisine, this recipe is easy to prepare and leaves you with days of leftovers. Per-serving cost? Just 60-70c.

Fiery Sausage and Split Pea Soup
Sick of old, boring split peas? This recipe--one of CK’s easiest of all time--will fix that for you. Per serving cost: around 70c.

The 911 Frittata
Outrageously easy! With a per-serving cost of just 60c.

Carrot and Fresh Cabbage Curry
This dish can be made in about 30 minutes for as little as 50c a serving.

Garden Pasta
A delicious, easy recipe that serves three for just 50c a serving.

Coconut Curry with Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas
A home run recipe you can make in under 30 minutes, with a truly unusual mix of flavors, spices and textures.

Easy Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew
Just 15 minutes of prep work and a mere $1.25 a serving.

Easy Minestrone Soup
Serve six with this simple, delicious recipe. Just 80c a serving.

Roasted, Toasted Garden Barley Pilaf
It's hard to believe this hearty recipe costs under 50c per serving.



How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

CK Links--Friday July 18, 2014

Links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

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Is our sugar paranoia getting out of control? (The Telegraph, via Addicted to Canning)

The only guarantee about diet trends is that they're eventually debunked. (LA Times)

Marion Nestle is surprisingly lukewarm on the nutritional value of organics. (Food Politics)

The latest issue of The Scientist magazine discusses GMO and biotech foods. (The Scientist)

Why are beef and pork prices so high? (Jayson Lusk)

Chef Jacques Pepin explains how "reality" cooking shows get it all wrong. (Daily Meal, via Alosha's Kitchen)

"Many leap to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama is hypocritical in his actions of eating meat, but looking a bit deeper you will find that is not the case." (Samvid Beauty via Rachelle Fordyce)

Still more doctors are getting off the statin bandwagon. (Dr. John M.)

On breakthrough workouts. (Mark’s Daily Apple)

There's a good case against regularly monitoring your portfolio's performance. (Monevator)

Recipes:
Bump up the taste with Grilled Lemon Terragon Tuna. (Food and Fire)

Pollo Pibil. (Mexico in My Kitchen)

Shrimp with Mint Pesto. (Meta Mint)


Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

Recipe: Chipotle Crockpot Chili

We've been experimenting with this recipe for a while now, tweaking it, adjusting the spices and the ratios, and I think now we've got it about perfect: This chili is thick and rich with just the right amount of smooth, smoky heat.

And like all of the recipes we share here at Casual Kitchen, this slow cooker recipe is healthy, delicious, inexpensive and really easy. I hope you enjoy it!

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Chipotle Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:
3/4 to 1 lb ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 12-ounce can tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans red beans or kidney beans
1 onion, chopped coarsely
1 green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tablespoons mild chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, with some of the sauce
1 cup water
Black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1) Brown ground beef in a separate pan. While beef is browning, add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, garlic, chipotle chiles and water to bottom of crockpot and stir until well combined.

2) Add browned ground beef and all other ingredients to the tomato/spice mixture, stir well. Cook for about 5 hours on low setting. Serve over rice or brown rice.

Serves 8.
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Recipe notes:
1) Meat: This recipe contains less meat than you'd typically see in a chili recipe. That's deliberate. However, feel free to adjust the bean/meat ratio to your tastes. If you prefer more meat, you could boost the beef to as much as 1.5 lbs. If you prefer less meat, or another meat like pork or turkey, or if you prefer no meat at all, go for it. Any of these permutations will work.

2) Fat: Should you drain the fat from the beef before adding it to the recipe? Since we've been exploring highly-regarded modern nutrition books like Why We Get Fat and The New Evolution Diet, we've essentially stopped worrying entirely about cutting fat from our diet. We've found that not draining the meat increases satiety and palatability. But feel free to drain the fat away if you'd prefer.

3) Spicy Heat: If you'd like a spicier chili, feel free to add a third (or a fourth!) chipotle chile. Or, alternatively, you can add more of the adobo sauce that comes along with canned chipotles.

4) Cooking time: One of the singular benefits of crockpots/slow cookers is that you can be incredibly inexact with cooking times. Cooking this recipe for hour more (or less) on your slow cooker's low setting won't disrupt it in the least.





How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.