Two bulk-bin staples that can help you cut back on packaging and save money are dried beans and lentils. But using them means soaking them overnight before you can enjoy them. One way to speed up the process is to soak dried beans or lentils in water and zap them in the microwave. Just fill a bowl with beans and cover with water and a tiny bit of baking soda. Microwave for 10 minutes and let them soak in the hot water for 40 minutes in the microwave. Just like that, the beans will be ready to use for whatever you want to whip up for dinner.
ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION