I used to be intimidated by the idea of turning those plasticy pebbley pesky dried beans in a bag into something edible. But then my curiousity got the better of me. While u do need time, u dont have to fuss over them much. Soak beans overnight, make sure you have an inch or two of water above them. Then i dump that water add fresh about inch over the beans and simmer for 1.5 hours. Cook till tender. If they are still to hard, just keep cooking. Easier and more flexible than rice.
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Now this knowledge comes in handy when i feed a herd of folks (like visiting family), they are filling, healthy and delicious.