Mar 13, 2013

Refried Beans Without the Refry

As I'm sure many of you do, I get e-mailed recipes. Lots of them; I just keep subscribing to various newsletters from recipe sites. Unfortunately, I never get around to reading most of them but every so often a recipe catches my eye and I bookmark it, saving it in a folder titled with the appropriate month in which to make it (I do so try to cook seasonally).

These pinto beans have been on the waiting list for quite a while. We cooked them last month (in the slow cooker -- my favorite way to make beans) and then they sat in that folder waiting for me to finally have time to write them up. Today is their lucky day!

Now, you may be confused by their name (and I admit that's why I clicked on this recipe in the first place when I saw it on but, amazingly enough, this do taste a LOT like refried beans. However, since they have neither oil nor butter, they're exceedingly low in fat. They're also really versatile. They have a bit of a kick from the jalapeno and we used them mostly in Mexican preparations, but I'm sure you could use them in any preparation that calls for cooked beans. And, considering we still have a tupperware full of them in the freezer (they freeze beautifully), that's probably what we'll do!

Make these into a Bean Salsa, add them into Marco Polo Salad or Quinoa Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese, serve alongside Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting or turn them into Sour Cream Bean Enchiladas or Chili. Really, the possibilities are endless. Bon appetit!

Refried Beans Without the Refry
adapted from

  • 3 cups dry pinto beans
  • 1 7-inch piece kombu
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 15 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 teaspoons garlic parsley salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 9 cups water, plus additional for soaking beans
Place pinto beans and kombu in a pot full of fresh water. Let them soak 8 hours, or overnight.

Drain beans and place them, kombu, onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin in a slow cooker. Add 9 cups water and stir to combine. Cook on HIGH (yes, really) for 8 hours. 

Once beans are cooked, strain, reserving the cooking liquid (it makes a wonderful broth for soups or rice). Using a potato masher, mash beans (and onion and kombu if desired), adding in as much broth as you want. You can also leave the beans unmashed and mix them with the onion and kombu, first chopping the aromatics so they're easier to combine. Enjoy!


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