Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clean Eating #79: Refried Beans for Burritos, Enchiladas, Side Dishes, Mexican Pizza, etc

Refried Beans
Cooking with dried beans was something that took me a few tries to get right.  It was also one of the first things that I made that my husband preferred the 'store bought' version.  I ended up having to mix half canned and half home made for a bit so that everyone got used to the texture.  Now we can't stand the canned stuff.  It tastes like paste or something.  Yay for finally figuring it out! 

Another thing that messed me up was trying to cook them in our crock pot.  Our crock pot didn't get quite hot enough, so I kept wasting tons of beans when they would NEVER soften.  I cook them on the stove in a large stock pot now and freeze them in quart sized bags for making bean dip/refried beans later on.

This is what I do with our beans. 
  • I usually don't soak them because I just forget to plan that far ahead.  I just cook them in water on med-low for a couple of hours, then cook them slightly higher than medium (a 6 on our stove).
  • Do not add any salt/broth/whatever until the skins are soft.
  • After the skins are soft, drain 1/2 the water and add broth, peppers, garlic & onions.
  • Cook until mushy (about 3-4 hours)
  • Puree in a blender with extra broth if needed and salsa. 
  • Add extra ingredients for a great bean dip, or leave plain for regular refried beans.
Dried Pinto beans *I tossed the bag and can't remember what size it was.  It was fairly large, as the beans themselves filled up my 5 quart pan before they 'grew'
1 large onion, diced & sauteed
2 cloves of garlic, diced & sauteed
1 red chili pepper, diced & sauteed
*1 quart prepared dried black beans
*cooked corn

*We add these to already pureed beans for a nice dip.  The kids like cheese in theirs.