I modified a recipe the other day and came up with an awesome, super fast, super easy, super inexpensive supper.
If you have dry beans, use those as they are the cheapest. I used black beans, but pretty much any kind of dry bean will work for this. If you are organized, soak the beans overnight. if you aren’t, then at lunchtime (or in the morning) of the day you want to make this, put the beans in a pot and cover with three times the amount of water as beans, then boil for a couple of minutes and shut it off. Let it soak for a couple of hours. Then, if you have a pressure cooker/canner, dump the soaking water off the beans and put them in the pressure cooker, just covered with water. Put the weight on the steam vent and heat it right up to 15 lbs of pressure, but just for 2 minutes. Take it off the heat (and set it outside if you want it to cool fast!) and you’ve got cooked beans. If you haven’t got a pressure cooker, just dump the soaking water and cover the beans with water plus a little bit, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until they are soft (see why you want a pressure cooker?).
If you don’t have the time to do all that, or don’t have dry beans, substitute a can or two of the beans of your choice, rinsed and drained.
You want some tomatoes: I put about half a can of leftover stewed tomatoes in the blender and made tomato puree. A jar of tomato paste would be fine too. Or some tomato soup.
Now, look in the fridge for interesting additions. I found a few mushrooms, and a bit of corn would also be nice, or whatever leftover cooked veggies you might have around. I think some rice would be good too: uncooked rice would work if you upped the liquid by a good bit, or leftover cooked rice would work fine as well. I grabbed a handful of dehydrated red peppers from the pantry and soaked them in the tomato puree for extra flavour.
Last but not by any means least, you need some salsa. I used most of a jar of the zucchini salsa I made this summer, nice and spicy. If you haven’t got salsa, use more tomatoes and add some salsa-ish spices: dehydrated onion, garlic, peppers, jalapenos, cilantro.
Mix together all the ingredients, mashing some of the beans if you want a thicker texture. Put it all into a greased casserole dish and then crumble some stale nachos or tortillas over the top, then add a layer of grated cheese.
Heat in the oven until it’s heated through – I put it in the oven of the woodstove for an hour, but half an hour at 300 would probably do it (maybe longer if you used uncooked rice). When the cheese is really melty it’s probably good.
Serve in bowls and be ready to offer seconds!