budget friendly rice and bean dishes

Quick Cook black beans
Prepping with Rice and Beans
Budget friendly rice and bean ideas for preppers

Preppers often talk of getting together supplies of bullets,
beans and bandages, but when it comes to the beans part,
preppers are usually unprepared! Sure, they may have an ample
supply of beans and rice, but they don't know how to store,
cook and make the most of this
prized protein source.

Rice and beans pack protein and this is a food that's easy on
your budget. Make the most of this important prep! Learn the
rules of prepping with rice and beans...

Prepping Rules for Rice and Beans Storage
Here are some quick rules for buying, storing and eating rice
and beans:

Rule #1: Learn to like beans.
The first rule of rice and bean storage is to love them! Over
time rice and beans can become a family staple. Rice and
beans together form a perfect protein for preppers, meaning
together they are a natural meat substitute for lean times. Not
only are rice and beans cheap, and but they are healthy and for
these reasons make an ideal food storage combination. Many
preppers admit they don't like rice and beans (and yet they
really haven't given them a chance). At the bottom of the page,
you will find inspiration for rice and bean combos to help you
fight the food fatigue.

Rule #2: Buy what you eat, and eat what you store.  
Buying beans and rice in bulk is important, but give rice and
beans a try in your everyday cooking first. Don't stock up your
rice and beans food storage if your family isn't used to eating
rice and beans.

It is a basic prepping principle to buy what you eat and eat
what you store. If your family doesn't like beans, better option
might be to store pastas with meat sauce that your kids will
eat! Your personal guide to food storage, depends on you and
your family, not some book, chart or Web site which tells you
how much beans and rice you should buy.

Having said this, it's important to know that rice and beans are
among the
most shelf-stable foods you can buy, which is why
preppers put them up!

Rule #3: Stock seasonings for your dried beans.
Variety is the spice of life and this pertains especially to
serving rice and beans to your family.

Flavor your beans! A tasty way to add flavor to your dried pinto
beans is pinto bean seasoning:

Learn to flavor your rice too
. For plain rice, you can add dried
fruit or nuts. You can also flavor rice with chicken broth,
vegetable broth or beef broth instead of water. Cook with
coconut milk, too, which will flavor your rice and help it cook

Rule #4: Learn to cook beans from scratch!
It's important to know that brown rice takes longer to cook
than white; pinto beans take longer to cook than lentils.
There's much to learn! Cooking from scratch before disaster
strikes is important also because you won't want to waste
food. Besides, the rice and beans from your favorite Mexican
restaurant will not be available in crisis, so you'll need to learn
to cook them yourself. An ideal cookbook for new preppers on
rice and beans is by Peggy Layton. "Cookin' with Rice and
Beans,"  is packed with 165 pages of prepper recipes and
includes charts on how to cook the specific types of beans and
rice. It's not a fancy book, but it gets to the basics and well
worth skimming for ideas.

Rules #5 and #6: Store enough water and fuel.
Beans aren't always quick to prepare -- especially the dried
varieties, such as pintos and garbanzo beans, but indeed they
are a shelf-stable food that every prepper should store. Make
sure to stock enough water and fuel for cooking rice and beans:

  • Stock up on water. It takes a lot of water and fuel to
    cook rice and beans, which is a problem in an off-grid
    world. Dried beans will need to soak in water and cook,
    and even if you soak them for 24 hours, it might not be
    enough time (unless you like your beans crunchy).

  • Stock up on fuel. Beans take hours to cook, and your
    large white propane tank will only get you five to ten
    meals or so of pinto beans, which is why you'll want to
    weigh your options. It's possible you'll want to invest in a
    solar cooker, which will provide you with endless fuel. A
    solar cooker, like the one pictured right, will have you
    cooking rice and beans quietly, without the smoke from
    fire to attract unwanted attention.

There are
many ways too cook beans in an off-grid world.
Indeed you can cook rice and beans with a solar oven!

Rule #7: Have some quick rice and bean options
There may be days when you simply don't have the energy to
guard the rice and beans as they cook for hours, or you simply
don't feel good enough to cook them. This is why you'll want to
have some quick beans and rice and here's how:

Want quick beans?
You can have beans fast if you plan for it:

  • Cans: The quickest beans come straight from the can. You
    don't even need to heat them in an emergency, just open
    the can and eat!

  • Split peas and lentils: While dried pintos take a long time,
    you might consider other dried legumes, such as dried split
    peas and dried lentils. You'll cook around 20 lentil or split
    pea meals from a tank of propane; and about half that
    amount with beans.

  • Refried beans: Dehydrated refried beans available from
    Provident Pantry and Honeyville Farms, are a quick
    solution. Pictured below, stock up!

Want quick rice?
Rice takes around 20 minutes to cook. Faster options include:

  • Cook rice with coconut milk! Coconut milk absorbs really
    quickly and as a result cooks faster than using other
    liquids. A happy prepper favorite rice recipe is from
    Bethheny Frankel: her coconut rice is devine!

  • Instant rice. Uncle Ben's instant rice is a prepper favorite.
    It might not be the healthiest option, but it's cheap and

  • Legacy Foods Parboiled rice. Parboiled rice, pictured right
    by Legacy Foods, is 80% nutritionally similar to brown rice;
    this emergency storage food is a good source of protein
    and is high in fiber too!

  • Rice Sticks (rice vermicelli noodles). Consider stocking up
    on rice noodles (not the ramen kind), which take less
    energy to cook. Vermicelli rice stick noodles will take a
    minute to cook.

Rule #8: Store your rice and beans properly.
A rookie prepping move is to keep rice and dried beans in the
bags they came in, which leaves them vulnerable to vermin! An
easy solution is to buy in bulk and you get the food bucket
container. You can also buy our own buckets and learn to use
mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to store your own rice and

Rule #9: Get creative with beans and rice.
Beans are more versatile than you may think. Did you know you
can make brownies from black beans? The brownies below are
fudgy, sweet and made with black beans. They are vegan and
gluten free too. The kids won't even know you used beans in
black bean brownie recipe!

Above, minamalistbaker.com shares an incredible gluten-free, vegan
recipe using black beans and flax to make brownies!

Beans are incredibly versatile!

  • Grind beans to make baked goods. Another surprising
    fact is that you can grind dried beans or lentils into flour.
    Here's how to grind your beans into flour. This opens up
    even more options for baking with beans as a protein
    source. The kids won't even know you used beans in their
    muffins, cookies and brownies.

  • Grind garbanzo beans into hummus. Whether dried or
    from a can, you can make hummus from garbanzo beans.

Fighting Food Fatigue
Too much rice and beans? While budget friendly rice and beans
packs the necessary protein for the prepper's pantry, it's sure
to cause food fatigue if that's all a prepper stores. Even if your
budget doesn't have much flexibility, you can use creativity to
enhance your variety and soon everyone in your family or group
will find a favorite. Try the budget friendly rice and bean
combinations below...

Budget friendly rice and bean combos to give a try:
  1. Caribbean-style rice and black beans. Pre-cooked in a
    can and organic, the Caribbean Rice & Beans are ready to
    eat (no heating necessary in an emergency situation),
    though we recommend heating this delicious and healthy
    protein source.
  2. Jamaican rice and beans. Backpackers Pantry Jamaican
    Rice And Beans, pictured right, is a hearty combination of
    brown rice, black beans, chicken and vegetables over rice
    with our special Jamaican BBQ sauce.
  3. Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. Backpackers Pantry,
    pictured at the top left-hand of the page, makes a happy
    Cajun favorite: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, which will
    send your taste buds back to Mardi Gras.
  4. Mexican rice and beans is a prepper must try!
  5. Spanish Rice and beans. Popular favorite from Eden
    Organic is Spanish Rice & Beans made with Lundberg short
    grain brown rice and pinto beans grown on a family farm in
    the United States. Pictured immediate right, Eden's
    Spanish Rice & Beans is cooked in a spicy tomato puree
    with a hint of sea salt.

Happy endings...
Beans when combined with rice make a complete protein. Just
be sure to pack some meat and spices as well. Stock up now
while it's still available! Rice production is taking a beating in
Southeast Asia.

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