My super cheap and low-fat secret!

I found a great secret to low-fat, satisfying meals and snacks – beans! If I hadn’t told them, my family would never know.

I made delicious chocolate chip pecan cookies at Christmas this year as gifts for family. They were a HUGE hit, and they are healthy and low-fat. Instead of white flour, I used whole wheat flour, and the fat in was replaced with an equal amount of pureed white beans. That’s it! The cookies are very filling and satisfying. You can get the recipe here! Note: I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and I replaced 3 TB of the brown sugar with honey.

The day after Christmas, I came down with a nasty flu. I wanted creamy chicken soup but we didn’t have any…. so I made my own from scratch. I sauteed some leftover ham and bacon, with some onion, celery and garlic, then tossed in some chopped carrot and just enough water to cover and let that simmer. The “cream of” part is nothing more than more pureed white beans. I had pressure cooked a one pound package of white beans, then pureed the whole batch. Since I only needed a half cup for my cookies, I had quite a bit left over. I poured in the pureed beans and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes. The whole thing took 20 minutes from initial craving to chowing down. Boy was it good, and exactly what I needed when I was feeling sick! Yes, I know that ham does not equal chicken… but it still satisfied my craving perfectly without having to send anyone to the grocery store.

With my family’s budget having to stretch further and further, I have been cracking jokes about making everything we eat out of beans. “Bean-nanna-bread”. “Bean-ia-coladas”. After a while the joke has helped me find or create a bunch of great new recipes.