It is possible to budget on $150/month (2 adults in California) for food without resorting to coupon-food(*). I generally do that by switching between 3 or 4 different meals which also serve as mutual ingredients in each other—this completely avoids leftovers. (See chapter 5 of the book for the general idea). For example, the bean sauce can be used for tortillas too.

(*) Sorry, I have prejudices against the kind of food that coupons buy. If the food is good, why would it need coupons to bring attention to it?

I can make everything in the pressure cooker from soaking the beans to cooking the beans to making the sauce.


  • Sherry
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Black beans
  • Canned chopped tomatoes.
  • Onions
  • Habanero chili pepper or similar.
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: I recommend paprika, oregano, thyme, and basil.

Things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure the onion is browned, not just transparent. This affects how well it stores and tastes.
  • Spread a thin layer of flour on sauce once it’s done and stir it in to thicken the sauce.
  • You can chop the chili pepper and throw it in if you want it heavily spicy. If you don’t throw it in whole and slice it up later for those who want it.

Serve with rice, pasta, or on tortilla shells.

Adjust ingredient ratios to taste. Go easy on the sherry there 😉

Originally posted 2010-08-23 13:14:11.