I don’t know why, but I have a small obsession with dry beans. I grow 15-20 varieties every year, and I love them. Part of what intrigues me as a veggie grower is that I can plant these bean seeds, which then grow like other bean plants, but in the end, they dry by themselves. I can then store the beans for immensely long periods of time without them going bad or rotting. I also love the hundreds of varieties of beans that come in every shape and colour.
Dry beans are one of the cheapest and easiest things to store in your pantry. You can pick up a few bags of dry beans for a few dollars and they last forever if they are stored in a dry location.
I always find that using dry beans in a recipe makes a big difference in flavour, texture and nutritional value. Beans are high in protein and are a great meat substitute.
When I’m making meals, I like to sneak in vegetables wherever I can. I like to add a little bit of whatever I have on hand, this could be a carrot, beet or parsnip, some spinach or kale, etc. (A little added nutrition never hurt anybody.) For root vegetables, I like to grate them so they are very fine. For leafy greens, I chop them finely, so if you have picky eaters in your house, they will never know they’re in there.