Is it important what kind of pinto beans I use? Do they need to be organically grown? How many servings do 3 cups dry beans make? Also, I've been keeping my eye out for you to post that meatball recipe you made for Frankie and I the other night! They were so scrumptious!
Here is my answer:
You are really getting into this food thing! Good for you.
As for the beans, I would say - use up what you have on hand and then think seriously about buying organic. To give you an idea of how much better organic are, you should know that organic beans will sprout and grow if you were to plant them or soak them long enough. The bean has to contain the nutrition to feed the seedling while it is setting down roots. Non-organic beans will not sprout or grow if you plant or soak them. They are very inferior in nutrition.
They are also treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers and grown in ground that is not sustained. The soil pretty much is sterile - very few nutrients or minerals. Organic food (produce) contains twice as much nutrition as its non-organic counterpart. And the nutrients are organic as compared to chemical nutrients that non-organic is fed with.
But organic beans are still a good food bargain. Though they cost a little more, pound for pound, as compared to organic meat (or even conventional) they really stretch the food dollar. I keep some in the freezer at all times in quart containers. When I run out, I make more and freeze them. They are so versatile. We eat them with tacos, etc. And for lunches they are great for tostadas or burritos, on a sausage-dog or hot-dog, etc. I also use them to make Pablano Steak Chili (posted on sidebar in Recipes [Main Dishes]).
The recipe I have posted will serve at least 12 people. The spaghetti sauce and meatball recipe will be posted soon. Thank you for being patient and for your question.