A friend of mine, who had the opportunity to smell this dish last night, as Davan had it at gymnastics, asked for my rice and beans recipe. She's also, like most of us, I suspect, looking for ways to tame the food budget. I sent it to her, but I thought I'd share here, too. It's one of those recipes that I just kind of throw together, so I don't know exact measurements.
First of all, I cook the rice and beans separately. The rice cooks in the rice cooker and I use the crock pot for the beans.
I use dried beans, which does make it pretty cheap. I vary the beans I use from week to week, but yesterday it was pinto beans, which are a favorite 'cause they're so mild. I don't presoak them, I just put them in the crock pot on high and add boiling water until they are more than well covered. I'd guess I used about 2-3 cups of dried beans and 7 or so cups of boiling water. They take a couple of hours to cook. If I'm around, I keep an eye on the water, adding if necessary. Sometime after those couple of hours, or, at least toward the end - it varies depending on what our schedule is for the day - and with at least a couple of hours of time until dinner, I add stuff. This varies. Again, though, I'll tell you what I added yesterday:
a whole head of garlic (peeled and all, of course)
3 semi-hot peppers
Bragg's to taste
1 tsp of liquid smoke
about a tablespoon of chili powder
I put it all in the Vitamix blender and make a sauce out of it that I add to the beans. Those ones turned out more soupy that I usually aim for, but I did manage to reduce the soupy-ness by leaving the lid off the crock pot for a couple of hours and stirring occasionally over the course of the afternoon.
That's about it. I usually taste it a few times as the cooking is coming to an end and sometimes add more Bragg's or a dash of this or that. I make it about once a week and, as I don't do it the same every time, how much we like it tends to vary.