This recipe has a lot of steps, but it’s a tasty, vegetarian, protein-packed meal that costs almost nothing to make.
For the beans:
- 1 lbs dry pinto beans (or some such bean) or 4 cans
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1 onion
- 2 cups (16oz) of tomato salsa (whatever’s on sale)
- 3 tbs cumin
- 2 tbs cayenne pepper (I used chipotle powder though)
- 1 tbs. oregano (Mexican if you have it)
- 2 tbs. garlic powder
- Salt and additional seasoning to taste.
- Some sliced green olives if you want them. I did, but they work better with meat.
- 1 cup frozen corn, pulverized in food processor
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp flour (Wondra works best)
- 8 oz shredded cheese (colby, muenster or jack)
- 6 egg whites
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp salt
- If you are using dried beans, cook them. I just put them right in the slow cooker, cover with water (plus 1”-2”and heat on high for several hours.
- Cook the rice
- Add all the bean ingredients together. You could sauté the onions first, or don’t. See if care.
- Put it all in 2 9x13 baking dishes (or one really big one like I did).
- Melt butter in saucepan
- Stir in flour to make a paste
- Whisk in milk and keep under medium heat until thickened.
- Add cheese, corn and egg yolks and turn off heat
- Whip egg yolks until soft peaks form
- Fold yolks into cheese sauce slowly and carefully
- Pour over beans and bake at 400 for 1 hour or so (until topping is set)
Frugal Factor: $2.50 for the cheese, $1.50 for the beans, $1.50 for the beans, $2 for the salsa, $2 for everything else. Serves 12. That’s $0.75/serving.