Gus has been very anxious to be included in the Kids Cook for Themselves series, and prove that HE, too, can cook dinner for the family all on his own. But . . . he’s seven. And while charm and confidence will get you quite far in life, they don’t necessarily help much in the kitchen. So, usually he gets stuck microwaving leftovers. But we do have one recipe in our normal rotation that he CAN do, (almost) all on his own . . . Bean Tavy.*

The nice thing about this recipe is that it ends up a tasty all-natural meal, but the ingredients are non-perishables. I always keep the fixin’s for this in the pantry in case of unexpected guests or for those days I realize that it’s 5:15pm and I don’t know what we’re having for dinner. It really couldn’t be easier, but I think it turns out pretty great.

Gus is very excited to share it with you. Here goes . . . 

Today I’m telling you how to make Bean Tavy which is kind of like soup, or a little like chili with no meat. But I guess you could put meat in it if you want. It’s a free country.

You need this stuff:

It’s cans of beans and hominy, which is like exploded corn, and tomatoes. We use the big cans because there are a lot of us. But small cans work too. And you need a crock pot or a pot on the stove to heat it up. And a can opener.

Open the cans of beans and hominy and dump them into the colander (in the sink otherwise it makes a BIG mess).

Rinse them in water. If you don’t it tastes very, very salty.

Then dump them in the pot.

Same with the tomatoes, but don’t drain those. Just open them and put them in the pot.

Then add the spices.

Note from Mom: you can use a taco seasoning packet, or substitute 2 Tbsp of bulk chili powder instead. When I use the big cans (like we did this time), I double that amount. Same with the dressing. I use either a ranch dressing packet or substitute about 1/4 cup of regular ranch dressing, doubled if I’m using the big cans.

I also like to add 2-4 tsp fresh garlic and 1-2 Tbsp fresh chopped herbs if I’ve got them, but it’s not necessary.

Mix it all up. Then, add enough water to cover the beans. (1-2 cups)

Set the crockpot to warm it up, it takes about an hour. Or heat it on the stove, that’s faster.

Cook noodles or rice, and serve it over a scoop of that.

You can put grated cheese and hot sauce on top if you want.

We have to have salad, too.

That’s it. Hope you like it!

*I first saw this recipe in one of those parish fundraiser cookbooks at my grandmother’s house in Memphis. I think they called it “Six Can Soup.” But ever since we saw this photo from the 1996 Army Navy Football Game, we’ve been calling it: Bean Tavy.

Go Tavy! Bean Army! ;0)

For more Kids Cook for Themselves, check out . . .

KIDS COOK FOR THEMSELVES: A UNIVERSAL SMOOTHIE RECIPE

KIDS COOK FOR THEMSELVES: EASY CHICKEN PARMESAN

Top Secret Ten Minute Ice Cream Cake: Kids Cook for Themselves

Kids Cook for Themselves: Friday Frittata 

Kids Cook for Themselves: Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Burritos