Our Favorite Easy & Budget Friendly Meatless Meal

This super easy dinner has quickly become one of our favorite meatless meals. I won’t drag on about a cute little story— let’s get to the “meat” of it. 🙂

The easy dinner is rice, refried beans and roasted broccoli. Simple, homemade and oh so yummy!

Rice, beans & broccoli

Homemade refried beans, prepared in advance and frozen.

Rice made in the rice cooker.

Fresh, roasted garlic broccoli.

EASY!

I make my refried beans in advance and ALWAYS keep some in my fridge. When I use the last bag of frozen beans, I make another batch. It’s seriously the easiest recipe ever. Soak the beans, throw them in the crockpot with just a few spices, an onion and water, cook and blend. Easy peasy. Click here for Ally’s recipe on her blog. (I omit the cayenne.)

For this dinner, I use 2 cups of refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

I also use my rice maker to cook our rice. Easy peasy. I love my rice cooker!!!  Click here to see the exact the rice cooker I have.

As soon as I start the rice, I start prepping the broccoli.

I was inspired by this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I made a few small changes- I don’t measure the olive oil. I drizzle some olive oil until the broccoli looks just coated. And I usually use 4 cloves of garlic, rather than 6-8 cloves. I love that I don’t need to measure anything for the roasted broccoli! Just toss stuff in and roast. I also roast at 400 degrees or sometimes even 415 degrees for usually 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

This does not take long to prepare.

This does not take long to prepare.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Those dark spots are the best part!  The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

Those dark spots are the best part! The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

While the rice is cooking and the broccoli is roasting, I defrost and heat the frozen refried beans.

I serve the beans over the rice with the broccoli on the side.

Not only is this a delicious dish, but it’s very budget friendly.

Dried beans: affordable

Rice: affordable

Broccoli: affordable

Lately, I’ve been buying our broccoli from Aldi’s and it’s such a great deal.  The last pack of broccoli I bought from Aldi was $1.39.  The entire bag of bagged dried pinto beans was about a $1.  I think I maybe paid $1.30 for an entire bag of rice.  I used 2 cups of the cooked beans (I think the recipe for 1 pound of beans yields 6-7 cups of cooked refried beans) and rice.  Maybe 32 cents for the beans and a cup and a half of dried rice (maybe 40 cents tops?).  I’m guesstimating.  Wet finger in the air…  $2.11 for the entire meal!  Super budget friendly!  (I didn’t add the cost of garlic because I always have garlic lying around the pantry.)

Beans and rice.  Rice and beans, baby!  (That’s for all of our Financial Peace University friends!)

I hope you enjoy our favorite budget friendly meatless meal!

The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 4: Refried Beans & Freezer Burritos

I’ve been lazy in the blogging department lately. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head but haven’t sat down and tapped them all out.

My little blog has even quietly passed the one year mark. Happy blogging birthday to me!

Anyway, yesterday and today I’ve been motivated to get back into freezer cooking. Yesterday I made a batch of my delicious homemade soup for dinner and froze the rest for future meals. Hooray! (Click here for the recipe.)

Today, I made these delicious and oh so EASY refried beans from Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats. Click here for her recipe. The only adaptation I make is to omit the red pepper flakes. SG and I don’t do spicy anything!

Seriously, if you like refried beans, you NEED to make these. Even if you “don’t cook”, these are super easy and a great place to start.

In the end, the refried beans recipe yielded 12 cups of refried beans! Wow. Such little effort for so much yummy goodness. I pretty much pureed my beans because the Huzz has ulcerative colitis and needs the beans pureed. You can have chunkier beans. Whatevs!

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I froze the refried beans in one cup portions…8 bags of them!!! I also used 4 cups of these beans to make homemade bean, “cheese”, and rice burritos. I used a few pins from Pinterest to inspire me. In the end, I made my own recipe. Here’s how I made my safe burritos.

Bean, Vegan Cheese, and Rice Burritos:
(Inspired and adapted from these blogs: Pennies and Pancakes & Money Saving Mom)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Homemade Refried Beans
  • 2 cups of dry rice cooked and seasoned (I truly don’t know how much this yields. I use my rice cooker and the measuring cup it came with. I make two cups of dried rice which yields much more.)
  • 2-3 cups of Daiya cheddar shreds
  • Mission Tortillas

Directions:

  1. Make the rice. I do a VERY generous sprinkling of Adobo seasoning and a less generous sprinkle of dried cilantro.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the homemade refried beans & seasoned rice together.
  3. Put 1-2 tablespoons of bean and rice mixture in the tortilla. Top with a generous sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds. Roll the tortilla and place it seam side down on a cookie sheet.
  4. Heat the burritos until browned in the skillet or flash freeze in the freezer for a few hours. When the burritos are mostly frozen, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and then put them in a freezer ziploc bag or just double bag the burritos. Label, date, and freeze. When it’s time to eat, unwrap burritos, and heat these in the oven, on a skillet, or in a microwave.
  5. Serve with salsa for dipping.

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I ran out of plastic wrap.  Oops.

I ran out of plastic wrap. Oops.

This recipe yielded 27 burritos! I do use the smaller fajita style tortillas because I just love that size. If you use the larger burrito size tortillas, you’ll need to add more filling to your tortilla and end up with less burritos.

I’m so happy that I now have a few more healthier options for our lunches and dinners. In two days, I’ve stocked our freezer with homemade soup, refried beans, and homemade grab and go burritos that are safe for our little family.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do.