Hello Fall.



I know. I know. It’s officially still summer for a couple more weeks, but last weekend certainly didn’t feel like it.  It was filled with brisk mornings, mugs of hot tea, cool sunny days, and football. I just can’t hold out any longer.



Fall means a lot of different things to different people – back to school,  shorter days, raking leaves, apple picking, comfort food, football season, and being able to turn on the oven without breaking a sweat. That last one is a biggie!

I make these beans all year round, and they form an important staple in our weeknight diet, but I’ll be honest – it’s a pain in the summer. The oven is on for 45 min. to roast the garlic, and the whole pot simmers for 4+ hours on the stove top.



I know that sounds like a lot of work for some beans, but let me tell you why they are totally worth it.

First, these are the best beans I’ve ever had. Ever. You might think that the short list of ingredients means that they are short on flavor, but you would be wrong. These beans are a complete revelation.

Second, you can make a ton at once and freeze them. The following recipe makes between  24-28 half cup servings. I freeze them in 2-4 cup batches, and then use them for easy week-night meals like tacos, burritos, and nachos.

Third, these beans are totally healthy. OK, they have some oil, and some salt, but not much compared to most recipes. By my calculations one half cup serving is about 240 calories, and they will  definitely fill you up – not bad for the best beans in town.



Healthy “Refried” Beans

(Slightly adapted from this recipe over at Rockin’ Robin’s)

4 cups dried Pinto Beans
3-4 Bay Leaves
2 bulbs Roasted Garlic (see recipe here)
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup Canola Oil
4 tsp. Salt

Rince pinto beans, and simmer covered in a large pot (I use an 8 qt. pot.) with bay leaves for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the beans should be plump. Add remaining ingredients, and continue to simmer for another 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The beans are done when they require almost constant stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves, and blend together using an immersion blender, hand mixer (be careful not to damage your pot), or potato masher. You can store the beans in the freezer in a well sealed container for up to 3 months, and covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.



These nachos made Sunday a perfect “start” to the football season. Now if only I could get my team to win.

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