Beans and rice are 2 of the most frugal, versatile staples in the dry goods pantry. Everybody has a version because they have been around forever and were accessible to all. Millions of healthy children have been nourished by this simple fare for generations. In many cases the working classes did not have the money to eat meat, so beans, bone broths, and other plant foods stood in their place. I imagine that this was one of the foods that the kids would wince and say, “Maaam, beans again?!” One way to avoid this is to serve different kinds of beans. You could serve pinto beans in a soup on Monday, and then re-fry them for Wednesday’s lunch, and then make black beans on Thursday, etc. If you want to go Italian or American, try white navy beans or kidney beans and prepare chillies and soups that way.
These are our favorite combinations:
Black beans: Black bean soup, in Mexican chilli (with chile ancho powder, yum), refried in manteca with onion as side dish, in salads with salsa-ranch and corn, in bean dip, enfrijoladas (tortillas dipped in pureed beans topped with chicken and cheese), rice and beans.
Pinto beans: Prepared as side dish/soup with pureed fire roasted tomatoes. Refried with onion as a side dish.