Cheap Recipe: Refried Beans

29 Apr

UPDATE: Gracie is feeling better today. She is still in the hospital, but she reports that for lunch, she was able to eat half of a Subway wrap, which she describes as “divine, all things considered.”

These are almost as fast as the frozen kind, but they taste much better.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or just trying to save money, refried beans are a great source of cheap, quick protein. In the time it takes to drive through Taco Bell, you can prepare this easy version, which makes a great base for burritos, seven-layer dip, or Mexican casseroles.

Add seasonings and mash them into the beans with a potato masher.

Pour about two tablespoons of cooking oil into the bottom of a large skillet and add about two cups of whatever cooked beans you have on hand. I used some Anasazi beans I’d made last night in the Crock-Pot, but canned pintos, black beans, or blackeyed peas will work just as well, depending on your personal tastes. If you use canned beans, drain them first.

Turn the burner to medium-high and let the beans warm up, stirring occasionally with the edge of a potato masher. Drain a can of diced tomatoes and chiles and stir it in, mashing the beans and tomatoes together with the potato masher until they make a relatively smooth paste.

Add ground cumin, chili, onion, and garlic powder to taste. Mix in the spices, continuing to mash all the ingredients together. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and remove from heat.

Move over, Taco Bell.

At this point, you can either top your beans with shredded cheddar, sliced jalapenos and olives, and sour cream and serve them with chips and salsa, or you can turn them into burritos — just wrap a generous dollop of beans and a handful of shredded cheddar in a warmed flour tortilla and serve with salsa on the side for a quick and tasty meal.

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2 Responses to “Cheap Recipe: Refried Beans”

  1. Rheannon April 30, 2010 at 3:50 PM #

    Poor Grace, I hope she gets to come home soon.

  2. redforkhippie April 30, 2010 at 7:46 PM #

    She sent me a text this afternoon to let me know she was home. I haven’t talked to her yet today, but I spoke with her last night, and she was hoping to get home and have a nice, quiet weekend with the boys.

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