Ba Da Boom, Ba Da Bean.

Aside from saving you money, dried beans can actually be tasty. Nothing beats home-cooked refried beans on a warm tortilla. Yum! Here are some of my favorite bean recipes. Please feel free to share any good bean recipes you have! And just for good measure, I included a picture of lentils for those who’ve never cooked with them before.

Lentil Chili
1 1/2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
water to cover
1/2 lb. hamburger or turkey burger
1 chopped onion
1 quart tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2-3 tsp. granulated beef bouillon
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. chili powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. basil

Cook lentils in water 45 minutes or until tender. Brown meat with onion. Drain. Add to lentils along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add a little water if chili is too thick.

Savory Black Beans and Rice
2 cups dry black beans
6 cups water
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place beans in large saucepan with 6 cups water; bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; allow to stand covered for 1 hour. Drain; set aside.

In large pot, cook bacon until golden brown. Remove bacon and all but 2 TBSP drippings. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Add 2 cups water, oregano, rosemary, thyme and pepper. Add drained beans and bacon.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When beans are tender, add salt and tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with grated cheese.

A few notes about cooking dry beans:
Dried beans cook faster if they are soaked. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, soak them overnight, drain, and then cook according to your recipe. Or try the quick soak method: Cover beans with plenty of water, bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover tightly and let them sit for 1 hour. Then drain and cook as usual. If you have hard water, try adding 1/4 tsp. baking soda to the cooking water to help beans soften. Also, do not add salt or acidic food, like tomatoes, before the beans are cooked—it interferes with the softening process.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I was going to ask that exact question. I have tried and tried to make homemade refried beans and they just don’t taste as good as the canned to me. I think its the texture or something…

  2. I didn’t post the recipe, because I don’t really have an exact recipe. I add about 3 cups of beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 or 3 cloves garlic, and maybe a 1/4 cup or so of soy sauce with enough water to cover the beans. I cook them in the crock pot until they are tender, which takes all day. Then I blend them in the blender until they are mashy, but I like some chunks. I also add some oil to make them stick together better. Sorry I can’t be more exact! Next time I make them, I’ll pay closer attention to what I’m doing!

  3. Thanks Jennifer! The refried beans turned out really good. I think its the blender and the soy sauce that made the difference for me. I have been trying the quick-soak method because I read that it has been proven to reduce gas symptoms. You get rid of all the yucky stuff when you drain them after the quick-soak.

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