Use Beans to Save Time on Busy Nights!

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Have you ever heard of "planned overs?" You make them when you cook a big batch of something, then serve them in different forms over the course of a few nights. The post, Cook Once, Serve Twice featured a few great ideas for roast chicken, and now I'd like to continue the discussion with a closer look at a pot of beans.

Beans are versatile, keep well, freeze beautifully, and are perfect for "planned overs!" On the first night, cook up a pot of beans with some broth and aromatics. To save time, you can use a pressure cooker (we wrote a handy guide that makes it easy, safe, and fun). Serve the beans as a hearty soup or use them to top some brown rice for a rice and bean bowl. Roasted veggies make great additions to either dish and are versatile for "planned overs" as well.

On the second night, use the rest of the beans in a brand-new dish. I'm partial to chili -- with the right spices, cooked beans make a perfect base. Of course, you can also throw them into any soup or stew you may have on the stove. If you drain the cooked beans, they're also great in salads, tacos, and burritos. With so many options, it's easy to use a pot of beans as the base for meals throughout the week!

Here are some recipes that are great for helping use up these "planned overs..."

And here's a free printable nutrition handout with a guide to using beans on busy nights...

Cook Once Serve Twice Beans

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