I have made a decision. It is a big one and I appreciate your support. Thank you in advance.
As of now, until further notice, I shall not soak and cook my beans.
Canned beans for the Simple Meals win.
I know. This news is big. But my beans and I have valid reasons for such a drastic change in our relationship.
Indeed I used to be a faithful bean soaker and cooker, but the demands of working full time while homeschooling teens, chauffeuring teens, feeding teens, supporting teens, and finding a tiny moment in my day to say hello to my husband have led me to kick bean-prep off my priority list. It’s either buy canned beans or become a beanless family. Long live the bean.
I am well aware that bean-cooking is not difficult. A child could do it. But I found that I almost never remember to soak beans ahead of time because I’m too often in my car running my kids to all of their social/church/work/sports/ministry outings. (And by the way, if one more person says something to me about homeschoolers not getting enough socialization I shall happily throw my van keys and event calendar at them and make them take my kids to all their social events so they can see the truth and laugh as they realize they most definitely never had a need to worry. Said person shall need a nap after this feat, but there’s no time for one – and this is why I don’t soak my beans.)
I can hear what some of you are saying. “Get an Instant Pot!” But we’ve been through all of this so I’ll have to ask that you cheerfully support my decision and let me open my cans of beans in peace.
This post has a point (thank goodness). And also a recipe. It will come as no surprise to you when you see that said recipe includes a can of black beans.
Substitute canned beans with those you have soaked/cooked yourself if you like. Best news of the day: I did the math and learned that when I buy canned black beans by the case it does not cost me anymore than if I were to buy dried beans and make them myself. I had no idea! You might also like learning that this dish I am about to share with you costs around $2.00/serving for my family. Not too shabby for a real food meal that sufficiently fills teenage boys.
Bet you’re hoping I’ll just go ahead and share the recipe already.
Simple Tex-Mex Creamy Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- Sea salt to taste
- 16-ounces salsa
- 15-ounces black beans
- 2 cups corn
- 2 cups sour cream
- In a skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil, seasoning them with chili powder and salt.
- Once chicken is cooked through and through (about five minutes on each side) add salsa, black beans, and corn.
- Simmer for about two minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
- Serve over brown rice, pasta, or tortilla chips
Note that adding sour cream to this makes the chicken mixture thick and creamy without any effort to make a cream sauce. That’s what makes this recipe so simple!
A huge time and money saver for our family (and many others!) has been our great Simple Meals program. Join us and be amazed at how this simplifies your life – plus you’ll love the easy, healthy, real food you’ll be putting on the table so quickly each day. We’ll welcome all who soak their beans and all who don’t, because we’re all friends and no one shall be beanless. Check it out and join here!
More Simple Recipes
- Simple Baked Salmon and Asparagus
- Simple Crock Pot Chicken Soup with a Kick
- Simple Skillet Taco Pasta
- Last-Minute Lentil Chili
- Simple Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken Legs
- 20-Minute Taco Soup
- Simple Cheesy Baked Chicken
- Simple Creamy Chicken Stew in the Crock Pot
- Simple Italian Beef and Broccoli Skillet
- Simple Bacon Ranch Chicken
- Simple Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
- Simple Taco Rice Dinner
- Simple Last Minute Nacho Plate
- Simple Chicken Cheeseballs with a Kick
- Simple Beanie Weanies
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- Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
- Simple Italian Chicken and Green Bean Bake
- Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti
- Simple Hamburger Soup
- Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish
- Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken
- Simple 15-Minute Meal
- Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast
- Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta
- Simple Oven Fried Chicken
- Simple Honey Mustard Chicken Legs
- The Easiest Mashed Potatoes in the World
- Simple Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Simple Crunchy Ranch Chicken Strips
- Simple Crock Pot Shredded Ranch Chicken (for salad or tacos)
- Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
- Simple Barbecue Beef Roast
- Simple Spanish Rice Bowls
- Simple Roasted Rotiserie Chicken
- Simple Green Chile Chicken
Marie B. says
Oh, this looks yummy-can’t wait to try this one! Hope you don’t mind my asking but…Where do you buy your beans? I’ve got some bags of beans to use up… I’ve been in the season wehre I use only canned beans, but now I’m getting back to soaking and cooking, because I haven’t found a good deal and do find it saves me money at this point. We go through lots of beans.
I buy them by the case everytime I have a chance to go to Aldi! They are 89 cents for a can of organic black beans. Can’t beat that!
Patricia R. says
I’ve been buying the Simply Nature brand from Aldi and I love them. A can of black beans is cheap, I think around 89 cents or less, and I can keep them on my shelf and they are ready to supplement any meal without planning ahead. I don’t always have time to plan ahead. Oh, and I have an Instant Pot. I have yet to make beans it. But more power to those that do! I appreciate your recipes that are simple and delicious.
YES! That’s the exact kind I get. I love them!
I wish my kids would embrace their homeschool life. I’ve been homeschooling them for 6 years. Despite my attempts at socializing them in the homeschool community, they refuse to befriend anyone who is homeschooled. They do not wish to be homeschooled and will only socialize with children who are in public/private school. It’s like they think if they embrace the homeschool community then they’ve lost all hope of going to public school. They are still very active socially and have many friends, but I feel they’d be more balanced if they’d open themselves to befriending everyone. I’ve been praying for years for them to appreciate the blessing of homeschool and am still waiting for my prayer to be answered.
That is frustrating! I pray God helps them see the beauty in your choice for them and that they will open up to all relationships in every area of life. :)
Thank you Laura. I’ve been praying about this for years. It is very encouraging for me to have others pray for us also.
Have you tried joining a co-op or other homeschool group?” We’ve been in several, and they do super-exciting field trips, classes, plays, talent shows, etc.—oh, and parties. :-)
Just wanting to help. :-\ Promise to pray for about this for you all!!
Yes, we’ve been involved regularly with a co-op since the beginning and have not missed a session. We attend the co-op at our church. My children insist we follow the public school calendar so that leaves me with almost no flexibility for fun things, sigh. So we cannot take full advantage of all the blessings homeschool offers.
Our homeschool area is active but not as much as I would like. My children groan when I tell them we are attending a homeschool fieldtrip even though they end up having fun.
Thank you for your prayers. Knowing you are praying for us is very encouraging for me. The struggle between my 14 year-old and me is constant. He blames everything that goes wrong in his life on the fact that we homeschool him. We’ve offered private school to both our children but they refuse. For them, it is public school or nothing.
Canned beans , canned tomatoes, and jarred spaghetti sauce have been my saving grace for years. I, too, forget the soaking. I have a 3 and 4 year old so our evenings are busy facilitating all their bedtime activities (ever try to herd cats? That’s what it’s like). By the time they’re in bed and done asking for their 10th sip of water and “put the covers on me please” for the 100th time….all I can do is flop on the couch. Forget about any cooking tasks that need to be done the night before.
We mamas have to give our self grace and if that means canned beans and store bought spaghetti sauce, I’m totally cool with that.
Yes. I’ve been buying jarred sauce too. I love making so many things from scratch, but sometimes we just have to open a jar or a can. It’s still real food, so we can feel great about this!
We eat lots of beans and I prefer canned for the convenience as well. Would you mind sharing your bean math and where you buy your beans? I love a good deal on groceries. :)
Your recipe looks quick, easy & tasty. We’re dairy-free, so I’ll omit the sour cream and double the salsa. With some fresh cilantro and avocado on top, it should be a hit!
I get cans of organic black beans at Aldi for 89 cents. That was lower than the price per ounce for dry organic black beans at Azure Standard, so I feel great about this convenience!
Would the price per ounce be equivalent between dried beans and cooked canned beans? My guess is that I’d need to compare them as prepared or by the servings as the dried ones expand and gain liquid weight when cooking. Would 12 oz of dried beans be 12 oz when cooked and compared to a can?
I use beans either way. Having a can on hand has been an easy timesaver. I also often put a pot of beans to soak before going to sleep.
Thanks for your recipes!
An ounce of dried beans would make more than an ounce of cooked, but I didn’t do the exact math on it. I just saw that the dry beans cost more per ounce, so I figured once cooked it would come out even, or close enough to make me feel better about buying canned beans!
It’s great to have an easy, affordable option, and 89c is a great price for organic beans, at least compared to what I see! Thanks:)
I cook beans in the slow cooker! Soaking is not necessary. It’s always good to have canned stuff on hand though ;)
Lisa W says
It makes me so sad to hear that your kids don’t like being homeschooled. It’s a blessing to live in a country where we are free to choose this option. There are tough days, for sure, but the good days far out number the bad ones.
What do they miss about public school? What do they (especially your oldest) want to be when they grow up? What are their passions, and what brings them joy? There are so many things you can tailor to their interests in / with the curriculum you use.
I have 6 children, and our youngest will be starting kindergarten after our summer break.
I will pray for you to endure their resistance, for their hearts to be softened and their minds to be opened.
Press on! You will be rewarded!!
One of the main problems in the “real food” world is the shaming if you don’t do everything exactly the “right” way. EVERY home is different, every family is different, and we make the best choices we can. There is certainly nothing wrong with not soaking beans, and if anyone says there is, just ignore them.
I face that with raw milk — it’s illegal in my state — but most bloggers make me feel like I’m poisoning my family if I buy regular milk. I’m not, and they need to get over themselves.
I am a minister, and I greatly admire your family’s committment to God — Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog.
Sounds like a super-smart decision on your part to stop messing with the whole soaking-cooking process! I don’t have time for that, either. And thank you for doing the research on Aldi price vs. alternatives.
I am grateful for canned beans we buy many and varied kinds for different recipes!!! It ain’t a sin, it is nutritious, delicious, fast and easy!!!! Our fam has been cookin this recipe for years only we have used cream cheese instead of sour cream. We will have to try the sour cream!!! Thank you for your confession and stand in the bean dilemma!!!!! Grace and peace to all!! :-)
Funny, I started cooking my own beans to save money over canned. I guess dried beans are cheaper at my local grocery store. But bonus, it turns out they taste better then canned as well. Especially in homemade humus! I bag mine in can sized batches, along with some of the cooking liquid. I never soak my beans overnight, simply add a bay leaf, cover beans with water and heat to boiling, cook for 5-10 minutes, turn off heat, then let sit for 1-2 hours, repeat process, then cook for a half hour or until tender. Takes a little time, but minimal cooking time. I cook large batches so my freezer is stocked for awhile. Though to each their own. I think we all determine for ourselves, what is worth cooking vs buying.
I fully support the use of canned beans! I just wanted to mention that the IP might be trendy, but a pressure cooker is about as old-timey as you can get!!