By request from some of the ladies working with my hubs:
Beans: The quick way–buy a bag of 15 bean mix at the grocery store. My personal quirk: I pick out the garbanzo beans because I don’t like them (with other beans). The better way–head to the Greenville Farmers Market and mix up your own assortment of dried beans in bulk. No pesky garbanzo beans that way! Soak the beans overnight so you can quickly cook them when you get home from work. If you don’t have enough time (because you forgot to soak like I always do), substitute with lentils. They don’t require soaking and cook up quickly.
The add-ins: The quick way–toss in a packet of dried soup mix like onion or veggie. Do not use the flavor packet that came with your store bought beans. The better way–chop up some veggies in a food processor or chopper. I like carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, squash, garlic, peppers. Whatever you have on hand, toss in! Throw in spices like onion powder, dill, chives, parsley, turmeric, pepper. Salt to taste.
Serving: The quick way–carry the pot to the table and serve! The better way—grind some flax and mix in before serving to add an extra nutritional punch. I use a coffee grinder for flax but you can buy it already ground. Serve beans over whole grain brown rice, bulgar, or barley.
I’m sure it gets old for my family, but I use the same basic plan for any brown bean I serve (kidney, lentil, crowder, field, etc). Rice and beans are a staple at our house.