I have a cheap eats recipe that has never failed me. One that magically seems to improve my mood when I make it. I have shared this cheap eat with family, and now they request that I make it for them! Now our newer Frugalite readers might be asking, “What is a cheap eat?” I am so glad you asked!
A cheap eat is a meal that is “reasonably filling, quick to make, (cooking utilities add up too), and less than a dollar a serving.” [source] If you have not checked out the classic Cheap Eat article on the Frugalite, then you are in for a treat! You will find a list of no less than 25 of them right here!
Because I appreciate this classic article so much, I want to share my own favourite cheap eat with you. Mine is “Beans Colette,” which is a variation of Beans on Toast.
But, First a Little History About Beans on Toast
Before I proceed, I want to highlight this could be a cultural difference between the British (and those of more recent British extraction) and Americans. The social question website Quora has numerous threads that highlight this difference. For example, “Why do Americans think Beans on Toast is gross?” and “Why would I eat beans on my toast?” And, there is this one: “Do Brits really eat beans on toast?”
If you are American and might be thinking along these lines, I encourage you to keep an open mind. If you are a Frugalite, you are open to finding savings. And this is a thrifty, nifty cheap eats recipe I am about to share with you!
My family’s heritage is Irish, and Beans on Toast is very popular in Ireland as well. My mother told me she got the idea for Beans on Toast from her mother. When I was a child, we would often have beans on toast for lunch or supper. I got used to this and enjoyed it. As I grew older, I made one tiny adjustment to beans on toast to create “Beans Colette.” You might be surprised at what this addition is!
Here is The TOP SECRET Cheap Eats Recipe For Beans Colette
Well, secret up until now, that is!
- Buy the RIGHT can of beans. It cannot be pork and beans or Boston Baked beans. It should be only tomato sauce and beans. Right now in Canada, Heinz appears to be the dominant brand, and it is excellent. There are also many no-name brands available, which are particular to each grocery store chain. **If you like those other beans, you may adapt the recipe later, but I recommend for your first time to stick with only tomato sauce and beans for the full effect.**
- Empty the beans into a small pan for warming on the stove. I prefer a small fry pan. Even if you are on your own, use the entire can. You will understand why later!
- Add a small amount of water, approximately 1/4 cup. This is to thin down the sauce and prevent it from over-thickening while simmering.
- Turn on your stove to medium-low heat, a gentle simmer.
- Add the SECRET INGREDIENT: 1/8 teaspoon of fresh turmeric. Be cautious about adding more, as this is a potent spice. Over-enthusiasm with turmeric can spoil your Beans Colette! (This has happened to me, and it became inedible.)
- Simmer gently for some time until the bean sauce thickens nicely. This might be around 30 minutes. You don’t want the bean sauce to be too thin, or it will soak your toast and make it soggy!
- Prepare your toast. It is best when it is crispy.
- You may butter your toast if you like, but this is optional. I like to butter mine.
- Place one or two pieces of toast on a large plate.
- Spoon your Beans Colette onto the toast. I use half a can, spread across two pieces of toast. They can spill over a bit.
- For good nutrition, I like to add a side salad or serving of veggies.
- ENJOY! I like to eat mine with a fork and knife. If you are a better eater than I, you might be able to eat yours by hand.
If you are a single Frugalite cooking for yourself, ENJOY again, as you now have a second helping to put away for tomorrow. I actually love to eat my leftover Beans Colette cold on warm toast.
Additional Cheap Eat Options for Beans Colette!
Because each of us is different, I also wanted to tell you a few variations that you might enjoy:
- Add a slice of old cheddar or processed cheese on top of your toast (butter optional). The warm beans will melt the cheese on the toast. It is quite a nice effect!
- Add grated cheese on top
- Before you warm your beans, you can sauté some finely minced onion in butter or oil until soft and browned. Then add your beans and proceed with the recipe. I prefer the onions to be soft, as I’m not too fond of the combination of crunchy onion and soft bean. See what you think!
- We didn’t eat this when I was young, but my mother highly recommends beans on a baked potato as well (I guess that’s not Beans on Toast, though!)
- Heinz also makes a can of baked beans with maple syrup. These beans make a sweet and also delicious variation on Beans Colette.
Please, Spill the Beans!
Have you ever tried Beans on Toast? How did you like it? Do you have any other variation on Beans on Toast that you can share with us? If you try Beans Colette, please let us know what you think! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.