I'm inspired of late by the appeal of the humble bean. I think consuming more of it might just be the ticket (at least one of) to eating healthier, in terms of less meat, and more frugally.
Now all I need is your best bean recipes! Chili, soups, dips, and beyond. I'm hoping to get a good chain that will serve as a resource to the whole cooking group.
I'll toss out a few ideas. My kids love split pea soup, which is one of the easiest things I can make. Chopped mire-poix, sauteed in a little oil. A little bit of pork in there - either ham or bacon, whatever I've got. Then I throw in a bag of rinsed peas, 2 cans of chicken broth (or homemade if I have it), 2 cans of water, a bay leaf, some thyme, and let it go about an hour. S&P. If it's too thick add water.
Hummus. Chick peas in the food processor with a little evoo, some ground cumin, a little tahini, generous lemon juice, season. Process till smooth.
I once took some chick peas (canned), threw them on a baking sheet, tossed them with a bit of spice mix (I don't recall what exactly but it was likely s&p, garlic, something spicy), and roasted them slow until they got crunchy. Very good snack!
And of course the quintessential chili. I make mine with ground turkey, browned with onion, bell and jalapeno peppers. Add a couple cans of beans, a can of chopped tomatoes, chili powder, and a bit of water. Simmer the whole thing for an hour or so.
Oh, and baked beans! My husband makes these so I don't know the exact recipe, but it involves bacon, mustard, and molasses. And hours in the oven!
I generally rely heavily on canned beans, but can probably save a mint by using dried, and soaking.