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Cooking From Scratch 
Oct. 30, 2010 9:37 am 
Updated: May 3, 2011 11:29 am

I really wanted to ask a question that may sound strange to most people, but doesn't ANYONE cook from scratch anymore???

I have been looking all over the internet, for the past 2 hours, for a Slow Cooker Chili recipe that uses dried beans ... kidney beans, preferably, but any type will do, as long as they are the bagged, dried beans.

I fix most everything from scratch.  From soups to cakes and most everything in between.  I am getting more and more discouraged that there are less and less "homemade" recipes out here, and more and more "do-it-quick" recipes.

This, of course, is my own personal opinion, but "doing it quick" is what has gotten our population in the horrible physical condition we are in.  When I was in my thirties, and living in the country, I had a large garden, raised chickens for meat and eggs, hogs for breeding for meat and market, and a calf also for meat.  I was so much healthier then, because I was actually eating non-processed foods.

Anyway, I'm rambling.  If ANYONE has a Slow Cooker recipe for Chili that uses the dried, bagged beans, please let me know.

Thanks!  And have a Blessed Day!

Oct. 30, 2010 11:05 am
Why don't you just cook your beans and then add to a recipe that calls for canned beans?
Oct. 30, 2010 11:34 am
here are a few recipes i found from just typing "slow cooker chili recipe with dried beans' in a search engine. I personally haven't tried any of these recipes.
Oct. 30, 2010 11:59 am
I cook almost everything from scratch. I agree there aren't too many recipes that call for dry beans, but I just soak and cook my beans then go from there. FYI about 1/3 of a 1 lb bag is equal to one 15 oz can.
Oct. 30, 2010 12:19 pm
I cook whenever I can from scratch, except dried beans. I have found that the small amount of money saved is not saved when I am using extra gas or electricity to cook them!
Oct. 30, 2010 1:36 pm
When I cook "from scratch" I consider that cooking. When I'm using the "convenience" recipes of dumping a can of this or a can of that - I consider that just making a quick dinner, not really cooking.
Oct. 30, 2010 2:31 pm
As a few other people have said, you need to soak the beans and then can use in any recipe
Oct. 30, 2010 2:33 pm
oops and cook.... per package directions..
Oct. 30, 2010 6:26 pm
Oct. 30, 2010 7:59 pm
I cook beans from scratch in a pressure cooker. Once you get past the fear and are used to it, it is a real time saver.
Oct. 30, 2010 8:05 pm
Oh, I have a wonderful vegetarian chili recipe that uses dried beans cooked with kombu, spices, sundried tomatoes, cashews and balsamic vinegar. It is quite different from a lot of vegetarian chili recipes. It came from a cooking course that I took years ago with Nettie Cronish in Toronto. She was quite a well know vegetarian cook at the time, so you may be able to find the recipe online if you google her. It was published in a cookbook called "Nettie's Vegetarian Kitchen" Second Story Press, Toronto, 1996.
Nov. 1, 2010 8:06 am
Thanks FreezerMama, I'll look her up!
Nov. 1, 2010 8:07 am
Jessica ... I will check out the URL you listed. Thank you!
Nov. 1, 2010 8:08 am
Thank you, Mother Ann. That is exactly the way I feel as well.
Nov. 1, 2010 8:09 am
Thank you Cupcake Polly. I will definitely check these out as well.
Nov. 1, 2010 8:11 am
To all of you who posted answers and comments to my question, thank you so much! It is great to see so many people who love to cook as I do. I will check out all your suggestions. Thanks again! Have a great week!
Nov. 1, 2010 9:41 am
You can still cook from scratch and use canned goods.. women have been doing it for centuries. Canned tomatoes in December? Using processed foods, IMHO is convenience cooking.. cooking from scratch is not possible in the true sense of the word. If you buy a bag of rice or beans.. those things have been processed and while they aren't in a can, they are still manufactured by someone other than yourself. To me, cooking from scratch means avoiding overly processed foods like frozen lasagna or a box of Hamburger helper. Yuk.
Nov. 4, 2010 2:51 pm
I find it a little peculiar that you complain about people not cooking "from scratch" when you are using a slow cooker... the reason slow cookers are so great is that you don't need to know how to cook to make a great meal; just throw all the ingredients in the pot, turn it on, and walk away. Your cooking level says "expert" on your profile, yet you're seeking a slow cooker recipe... I hope you have the same sense of humor as I do, or else you probably think I'm a complete jerk. My apologies if I offended you, but thanks for humoring me.
Nov. 6, 2010 6:10 am
Yes sweetie, do not fret, there are still plenty of us out here who are cooking from scratch. I make a crazy awesome pizza from scratch...whole wheat dough from my bread machine, sauce from a few fresh tomatoes, peppers, olive oil and red wine, toss on a few 'shrooms and we're good to go! I've made chili from dried beans in my crockpot...the trick is not to add any tomatoes until the beans are cooked exactly the way you want them. Generally, I use the canned beans, but I look for organic beans with little or no sodium added. Crockpot cooking is indeed scratch cooking as far as I'm concerned. Recently I filled my crockpot with chopped apples and stuff before bed...we awoke to hot, fragrant homemade applesauce which we served over bowl of steaming hot brown rice....yum!!! Good luck to you!
Nov. 6, 2010 6:17 am
I kind of disagree with Beth. I always thought 'scratch cooking' referred to the ingreidients used, not the actual cooking method (i.e. no boxed cake mixes or biscuits in a tube etc). :)
Nov. 6, 2010 6:24 am
To me scratch cooking is not using a prepared meal..making soup yourself or cake NOT from a mix. Using canned ingredients to make a soup is to me considered 'scratch' since you are not opening a can of ready made soup.
Nov. 6, 2010 7:37 am
The only time I'll cook a recipe "not from scratch" is when something looks good and we're going to a potluck where I can feed it to other people but still get a taste :) We make as much as we can from scratch in our house. When I make beans for soup, I quick soak the beans then add them to the recipe I'm using for the crockpot. I just cook it all together until the beans are done cooking.
Nov. 6, 2010 7:43 am
Scratch to me is mixing ingredients, whether fresh or canned to make a meal. I used to use Lipton rice and sauce and noodles and sauce all the time untilI really looked at how much money I was wasting on convienience. And the taste is so much better when you do it yourself. Look at the ingredients of that granola bar lately. I can not even pronounce some words, but I can when I make my own. But as for the original question at hand, I would take the beans and follow directions on the bag. Then follow my favorite chili recipe. I have yet to find one, so if you find one (a chili) recipe that you really like that is mild as mild can be (don't like hot and spicy in this house) let me know. I've been searching for years.
Nov. 6, 2010 8:01 am
I make a black bean soup in my slow cooker in which I use dry black beans. There is no soaking of the beans, I just put them in the cooker dry with all other ingredients. It comes out super, and I'm sure you could do the same for chili, without soaking the beans, but you would have to adjust the liquids.
Nov. 6, 2010 10:12 am
I think that there are still lots of people who cook from scratch WriterofMD. I personally consider using a crock pot or bread machine from scratch cookery. How far could you go? Taken to the extreme, only food cooked over an open fire in the back yard would be from scratch. I do think that there is a place for mixes and convenince food. I personally do try to cook from scratch most of the time. But cake mix was on sale for 77 cents last week. I picked up a box, made cupcakes and bagged and froze them for my kid's lunchbox treats. I love making a real cake but I certainly do not feel bad about my Pillsbury Funfetti cupcakes. Another thing to consider is the absolute beginner. My ex-SIL fed her family a diet of take out, drive thru and food purchased from the supermarket deli. Any effort to cook would have been good, convience food or not. Just my two cents worth.
Nov. 6, 2010 3:45 pm
of course I do almost every day, that is the way to cook!
Nov. 6, 2010 4:47 pm
Here is a self-described "basic chili crockpot recipe" that calls for dried kidney beans. This website has numerous chili recipes, all in the crockpot, some call for dried, some for canned. I would agree with others who've already mentioned that you can always soak the dried beans and then add them to any recipe (as is called for here). I hope this helps. As for cooking from scratch, my view is that a crockpot is a cooking tool like so many others we use. I find the 365crockpot site offers endless ideas and possibilities. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nov. 6, 2010 5:43 pm
Like others have mentioned, I have made chili in the crockpot by presoaking my beans. I drain the water from soaking them so they will be less gassy. Then I would precook them till soft or add to the crock pot first before adding the tomatoes otherwise they will be hard. You could do this ahead and freeze them or can them. Ball Blue Book gives directions for canning. Yes I do feel good cooking "from scratch" cause I know that my family will consume less preservatives or pesticides but I also know that not everyone has the time or space to grow your own. I have found that it is difficult to get a "made from scratch" meal on the table when working a full-time job outside the home. So I try to do the best I can with the resources and time available.
Nov. 6, 2010 7:57 pm
I think a lot of people today are just too busy. I myself am in the military (active duty), work 12 hrs a day, and my husband is also in the military. Sometimes I just don't have the time to cook beans from a bag, or clean and slice potatoes to make fries- buying it already done is much easier and convenient. I still consider a meal "from scratch" even if I use canned/frozen veggies, etc.
Nov. 7, 2010 12:13 am
There is a family named Dugger who have a reality show. They have many children, so they cook a lot. Many of their family favorite recipes are on their website, and one is for a from scratch chili using dried beans and cooked in the crock pot. Heres the url to their recipe page (hope its what you're looking for): The chili recipe is about half-way down the page.
May 3, 2011 11:29 am
Thanks everyone! Now I don't feel so alone in this. LOL! Most of my co-workers are the "buy it ready-made" type of cooks, so I was beginning to wonder if I was the only "scratch" cook left. It was great to hear all your comments ... positive or negative. Thank you again everyone, and have a wonderful year!
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I'm just a transplant from Ohio who enjoys baking, making candy, and trying new recipes and using old recipes that my grandmother taught me.
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