Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you’re mute.
Wait, that’s not how it goes. But that’s how it went this past week when I officially lost my voice. Like, LOST it. For those of you who know me (and have experienced my chatter), this was the most difficult thing for me. I mean, I have so much to say! I went through a bajillion text messages this week, followed by even more scratch pads, and even learned a little sign language. OK, so I improvised on that last part. It was a real challenge, but the good news (or bad news depending on how you look at it) is that my voice is finally coming back! Phew!
For the longest time, I have been leery of refried beans. If you’ve made a trip down the ethnic aisle at the grocery store, you’ve likely experienced what I’m talking about. Being forced to make a decision between lard free or refried beans with lard makes them a little unappetizing. In addition, they make that great suctioned noise when you try to wrestle them out of the can. Yuck! My husband loves refried beans and I’ve been avoiding them forever, but no longer.
After doing some serious research for this Mexican fiesta we are having later this month for someone’s 30th birthday, I found out that you can make them in the slow cooker and that’s exactly what I did. Wow! They babies were so good that I couldn’t stay out of them. They’re fat free and packed with protein. Yum.
In fact, I took them to a friend’s house and everyone loved them. They couldn’t believe how easy and tasty they were.
Start by rinsing the dried pinto beans. Pick through and sort out any that look like they’ve seen better days.
This fat free, protein packed recipe will be the ultimate addition to any Mexican fiesta, Super Bowl party, or weeknight dinner. You can make a large batch and freeze extras for later.
- 1 lb pinto beans, dried
- 1 large white onion, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 jalapeno, diced (without pith and seeds)
- 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- Start by rinsing the dried pinto beans. Pick through and sort out any that look like they've seen better days. Once rinsed, add them to a saucepan with enough water so that there is about 1 inch of water above the beans. Now, bring the water to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, quarter a large white or yellow onion. Dice a jalapeno and discard the seeds and membranes. Smash 4 cloves of garlic.
- Once the beans have simmered for 15 minutes, drain and add them to the slow cooker. Add water to cover them. I used about 6 cups, but this will depend on the size of your slow cooker. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and 1 tsp of salt. Cook for 4 hours on high.
- Once the slow cooker has cooked for 4 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove the beans, jalapeno, and garlic from the slow cooker. Discard the onion. You'll want to make sure you don't drain the beans all the way. I allowed about 1 cup of the cooking liquid to make it to the next step.
- In a food processor, combine the beans and liquid with the vegetables. Puree until it is the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed. I added another teaspoon of salt.
- Serve warm.
I haven't tried this with black beans yet, but I definitely plan on trying that too. Use these refried beans as a base to your seven layer dip, a burrito filling, or a side dish.