Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Easy, Cheap, Tasty And Good For You

The following recipe ticks all my favorite criteria for dinner.

Minimal prep
Cheap Ingredients - under $2.00
Plenty of Leftovers
Made in a Crockpot
And an added bonus - it is vegan too.

This is a family favorite that I make at least twice a month.
It also freezes exceptionally well.
If you like Mexican food I promise you will like this recipe.

Refried Beans Without the Refry

3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed, cleaned and drained
1 small onion, peeled and cut in chunks**see note below
1/2 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
2 TBSP fresh minced garlic [I use about 4 or 5 cloves -I never measure]
5 tsp salt - and before you fall over [on my behalf] with the sodium content keep in mind how many servings this recipe makes. Let's just say A LOT. :)
1 3/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin [I use a bit more because I love cumin] optional
9 cups of water

Put all ingredients in your crockpot and stir to mix.  Cook on high for 8 hours, adding water as necessary. I usually add a 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups because the beans absorb a lot of the water. Don't let it burn.

When 8 hours has passed check to see if there is any extra liquid [for me there never is] and drain it, reserving the liquid for mashing.

Using either an immersion blender, a handheld electric mixer or a potato masher MASH those beans. Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash - adding reserve liquid as needed. I always use my immersion blender [best "free appliance I would never buy myself" I ever received at a store give away] but the other two work very well and the potato masher works really well if you like them chunkier and not so smooth.

**Note: If you do use your potato masher you might want to dice the onion smaller. Since I have always used the blender it annihilates the onion, so I am not sure what the masher would do. Better safe than chunky onion I suppose.

Easy as that.  Trust me when I say they are delicious. They really are.

Your dinner options are endless. Use your imagination for any number of combinations. This is how we usually do it:

Night one:  Enchiladas with a Mexican inspired rice side
Night two:  Bean burritos with all the fixings - sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and salsa
Night three:  Make your own Nachos. Thin out the beans in a pot on the stove top with a bit of water. Pile white corn tortilla chips in individual pie plates. Pour approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup of beans over chips, sprinkle cheese and broil until cheese melts - 1 to 2 minutes.  Have bowls of shredded lettuce, diced tomato, onions, jalapenos, salsa, guac and sour cream - the works - on the table and let everyone top theirs the way they want. 

There are always leftover enchiladas and burritos for Pooldad's lunches and if the family hasn't had too many midnight snacks of the beans you can make a dip of those, shredded cheese and salsa, mixed and heated in the microwave for a snack. Me? I just like a bowl with melted cheese on top. Give me a spoon and I am content.

There ya' go. I really hope you make these and let me know how much you enjoyed them. Or don't like them?  I think you will though. They really are that good.

Have a great Wednesday Tadpoles. We'll see ya' on the flipside. :)


Carolyn said...

Most definitely going to try your recipe; I've been messing around with the beans/onion/garlic ratios to make a good refried bean recipe, but there always seems to be something missing.
I LOVE a good bean/cheese/onion burrito!

Jean said...

This is a definite gonna do. Maybe I'll go buy everything today - counting on that freezability though - I'm home alone.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I think I will cut the recipe in half, but it sounds great. I wonder how it would freeze ......

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Sounds yummy, but I kinda think I'd LIKE the chunky onions in there... maybe some green peppers, too. 12:34

Knitty said...

I'll pass. Not a fan of refried beans and besides, I was terribly mislead and disappointed by the title. I thought this was going to be your auto-biography.


Gypsy said...

It sounds really easy to make and I'm sure it's tasty all the ways you mention serving it. I'll try it soon.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

sounds good. would go well with my "faux" chicken tortilla soup.