Plant based Munchies

A journey towards whole food, plant based, healthy eating….

Frijoles Refritos (Refried beans)

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Refried beans

Mexican is my new obsession (food, that is). There’s a little place near here called Lucky Lupitas which has a pretty divine tostada option and hey, Mexican is easily plant based food. Any staff in a Mexican restaurant tend to say “Vegan? Oh yeah. We can do that”. It’s no stress because their cusine is not built around dairy and meat like others. Having said that, I have read that many Mexican places (esp in America) use lard instead of oil in their cooking. That would be good to watch out for.

My main issue is I’d like to buy tostadas but can’t seem to in Adelaide *sigh*. I’m ok with tacos and burritos etc although they are not really a diet staple for us and Dave would prefer not to eat them at all. He did manage to find corn based tortillas which is good but they aren’t organic and are presumably GM. Anyway if you can find ingredients you like, it’s not hard to make your own tostadas.

But I digress. I am in love with Mexican food. And it works for the kids (if it’s not too spicy) because they like building their own food empire and they like the control they get in choosing a bunch of foods to add to their Mexican feast. When I served this bean dish up with a bunch of chopped salad ingredients and corn tortillas for dinner, Mr 3 said this was the “best tea EVER” and Mr 5 said it was a “great idea mum, 11 out of 10”. Their little eating habits have been slower to change than ours but are amazingly different to what they were before WE changed our habits. It’s inspiring.

Here’s a really simple recipe for Refried beans – which aren’t refried at all, but it’s the name for a bean base to use in Mexican cooking. I  read the proper translation is “Well-fried” rather than “re”. You could, however, just serve it up for breakfast with avocado and asparagus or mash it through a green salad. It doesn’t have to be  in a taco/tortilla/tostada.

  • 1 cup pinto beans/kidney beans/black beans
  • 1 spanish (purple) onion,chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-400gm tinned or fresh tomatoes (I put this variation because usually it is less but I like it MORE tomatoey)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 finely chopped chilli (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Few cilantro sprigs for garnish

As one of our friends found out the hard way, beans need to be soaked prior to cooking if using dried beans or they will give you food poisoning!

Otherwise you are safe with tinned :). Saute the garlic and onion and add in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes and then mash with a fork (or blend with a blender if you prefer a smoother sauce).

Easy as – and so nutritious and tasty!


Author: Rah

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