One thing people say is that they’d like to eat more beans, but that canned are a bit expensive (although they aren’t *that* expensive, certainly not compared to meat) and bulky (especially if you are using public transport to get your shopping home). You can make them from scratch, but it requires serious planning time. You’ve got to soak them and then cook them for 2 hours. You can’t do that when you’re working…
Fear not. There is a way you can have cheap beans and have them readily available.
Buy yourself some dried beans. Here we have chickpeas but you can use any beans. They cost 80 baht for 500g. I could have saved money and got them for about 45 baht at the Indian grocers and not worried about organic.Buying them canned costs between 60 baht and for imported black beans about 150thb.
I put all of these in a large saucepan and covered them with lots of water. They will nearly double in size. I did this step in about 2 minutes.
I then let them soak over night.
When I woke up I drained the water out (this is important as there are a lot of indigestable sugars in that water. These can sometimes cause flatulance issues) I put the chickpeas back in the saucepan, put lots of water in and brought it to the boil and simmered with the lid on for 2 hours. I checked they were cooked and then drained them. (about 5 minutes of time at the stove here).
I then went through my plastic container collection and found 5 containers with matching lids. (2 mins) and proceeded to put 1.5 cups of chickpeas in each container. I then covered them with water and put them in the freezer. I put in 1.5 cups as this is the same amount that you’ll find in a can of beans. Most recipes will state their quantities in cans. If you have your chickpeas in these quantities, it makes it even easier.
I then put lids on, and throw them in the freezer. This step takes about 5 minutes.
Whenever I want chickpeas, I just defrost them in the microwave in 3 mins and I have chickpeas ready to go. I do this for all beans. I always have a big stash of frozen beans in my freezer so I can make whatever I want at a moment’s notice.
Total cost for each equivelent of a can of beans (not including energy to cook the beans of course) is 16 baht. And people think being vegetarian is expensive? What the? This makes it quick and easy. 14 minutes of active time for 5 cans of beans. Mental!