Shopping list:

  • 4 cans (or 60 ounces fresh) black beans

  • 2 cans (or 30 ounces fresh) corn

  • 1 lime

  • garlic

  • onion

  • chili powder

  • tortillas

  • coriander

  • olive oil

  • vegetable stock

  • canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes

The most important part of this clever shopping plan is the rotation of inexpensive ingredients. Ingredients that do double duty, instead of being used for a single meal, can help stretch your food budget further.


For Breakfast: Black Bean Soup and Corn

Start the day with a hearty soup. The beans and vegetables in this recipe provide a powerful combination of protein and nutrients. Half of the black beans in this spicy soup are mashed with tomatoes, and the rest are simmered with carrots, onion and corn.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 chopped onion

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 cans (or 30 ounces fresh) black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (or 15 ounces fresh) of corn

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 can diced tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

To cook:

  1. In large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add chili powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the stock, half the beans, corn and pepper. Bring to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, in the food processor or blender, puree together the tomatoes and the remaining beans. Add to the pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

  3. Enjoy


For Lunch: Black Bean Flautas

For a quick lunch, try this recipe. These crispy flautas are fast, filling and easy to carry. If you have extra, they are easy to store and reheat for another time.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 large lime juice

  • 1 can (or 15 ounces fresh) black beans

  • 16 white corn tortillas

  • Oil

To cook:

  1. In a small bowl, combine onion, chopped cilantro and lime juice. Set aside to marinate, and stir occasionally.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, separate 1 tablespoon refried black beans and 1/2 tablespoon onion, cilantro and lime mixture evenly along one side of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla firmly, starting at the side with the filling. Use a toothpick to secure the flautas so they don’t unwind while cooking.

  3. Place the flautas with the seam side down in the hot oil and cook, twisting with tongs, until golden brown and crunchy on all sides, approximately 4-5 minutes per batch. Continue to cook the rest of the flutes in batches, adding more oil as needed.

  4. Enjoy.


For Dinner: Roasted Corn Tacos and Black Beans

Since you’ve been using these ingredients all day, you can use the leftovers that you created for an easy, delicious dinner. This will save you time, money and energy.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (divided)

  • 1 can (or 15 ounces fresh) of black beans

  • Lime juice

  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic

  • ¼ cup sliced onion

  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander

  • Salt and pepper to taste

To cook:

  1. In a medium frying pan, combine corn and oil over medium high heat. Add ¼ teaspoon of chili powder (or more if you like a little more spice) and a pinch of salt and pepper.

  2. Allow the corn to cook in the oil, stirring occasionally - this will take about 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside when the corn is tender and lightly browned.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, garlic, ¼ teaspoon red chili, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Beat until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.

  4. In the frying pan, mix the black beans and the mixture of chili and lime juice. Heat the beans over medium heat and allow them to absorb the chili and lime mixture. This will take about 3 minutes.

  5. Spoon black beans and corn in hot tortillas and sprinkle with sliced onions and chopped cilantro.

  6. Enjoy