Hi -- yes, yes, cooking on a budget, cooking healthy and delicious food. I like to make a big pot of beans every week or so and I'm always looking for new ways to transform them. I buy the bag, soak overnight, cook with epazote and onion, salt when tender -- very very cheap and easy.
So then what? How to transform or serve beans in new and creative ways? I always have fresh tortillas, queso fresco, crema around and make my own salsas (salsa verde, pumpkin seed salsa, salsas with corn or fruit).
I make a yummy bean pie in which I blend the cooked pintos with cream cheese, yogurt, and some spices, then top with sauteed zucchini and tomato. Serve with hot tortillas. I also make a harvest casserole with squash, chard/spinach, and black beans and tomatoes (yum).
I like refried, and I'm interested in bean cakes that won't fall apart (I had bad luck last year with the ones in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, though in general I'm quite pleased with her recipes).
Black bean spread or dip is excellent.