This week's lunches are red beans & rice. I made eight small (400-calorie) servings of this over the weekend for less than $4.
I've known how to cook red beans & rice since I was a kid. It's pretty easy, especially if you don't try to get all fancy with it. Ingredients (this time): one bag of dried kidney beans, 1 lb. turkey smoked sausage, two small onions, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
After soaking the beans using the "quick soak" method described on the bag, I put them in a pot with the two onions (chopped up), about 4 tsp of minced garlic (from the jar in the fridge), 2 T olive oil, and seasonings including cayenne pepper, parsley, and basically anything that smelled like it should go in there. I covered all of this with water and let it simmer for a couple of hours. (It takes longer here because of the altitude.)
When the beans were about done, I sliced up the sausage and added that. I also took out a bowl of the beans and mashed them up with a potato masher and added them back - this is how you make red beans & rice instead of bean soup. While all of this continued to simmer, I cooked one cup of brown rice in two cups of water. Then I mixed everything together.
As I said earlier: 8 delicious meals, less than $4 expenditure. In New Orleans, this was traditionally cooked on Monday (washing day, so you wanted something easy to make) using the bone from Sunday's ham (in lieu of sausage).