Tag Archives: pinto beans

Bean Tacos/Refried beans

I thought this recipe came from a vegetarian cookbook but after looking for it I discovered it must be an old family recipe from my dad.  I love it. It is much tastier than refried beans and uses a lot less fat. Here in Denmark (and even in Spain) I can’t buy fresh corn tortillas so I make them. Recipe to follow in a separate post. Homemade salsas are also a must for a good taco.

2 cups dry pinto and/or kidney beans (a large bottle 64 oz? cooked beans could work) I soaked the beans over night and then put them in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes with bay leaves.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes (400 gr.)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano

Saute onion and garlic  in a pan until very well done. Add beans and smash them. I blend them in the Tmix.  Add tomatoes and spices. Mix. If it is a little thin continue to simmer and the water will boil off.

Top with cheese/beef, sour cream, salsa, lettuce.


Mixed Bean Chili with Chicken

This is a five star meal. When we lived in Texas, our friend Eric prepared a chili like this. We tried to emulate him, and we think we came up with a good combination. We found this white bean chili from the new homemaker, and Sarah thought that adding cream would be good to thicken it. The challenge here is to make an American recipe with European products.  

Every time we do beans, Carlos has the idea of making a typical Spanish, Judias Pintas con Chorizo (recipe by Peepa – spanish). But Sarah, can only think about American-Mexican Chili. The main difference is the spiciness. Meals in Spain are like the rest of the Europeans, mild and not spicy, while Mexican dishes, can be quite hot. Carlos asked his Spanish grandma to cook these beans for Sarah the last last time we where there. She liked them, but Sarah still doesn’t think its necessary to put chorizo in the pinto beans just like Carlos wouldn’t dream of puting tortilla chips in the beans. So, Carlos drops in some slices of chorizo and Sarah makes sure the dish is topped off with tortilla chips.

We where helping some friends move, so we thought it would be good to do a crockpot meal. We brought the crockpot from the U.S.  We have never seen crockpots, or slow-cookers in Europe. We have theories about that, but we will stick this time to the recipe. We are convinced though, that the best way to make any kind of stew is using a crockpot. Not only because you can achieve a great flavor, as all the ingredients mix very well during the hours, but it is really easy to prepare.

You just basically throw all the ingredients in the pot:

  • White beans (in this recipe we use a higher percentage of white beans) 1+ cups
  • Pinto Beans (one cup dry)
  • Garbanzo Beans (one cup dry)
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chili peppers/jalapenos (to taste) we used 3 or 4 slices from a jar. It was mild but had just a hint of spice.
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1/4 or 1/2 chicken* or a chicken breast (with the bones) and a few legs. Take off most of (85%) the skin.
  • Chorizo (about 200 gr. or 1/4 pound or less)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cummin (1 tsp approx)
  • Paprika (1/2 tbs approx)
  • Oregano (1tbs approx)
  • Water to cover the beans by about 1 inch 

Top with:

  • fresh Cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • cheese (cheddar where available)
  • sour cream/creme freche

*you can use chicken breasts, but you will not have the enhanced flavor of the bones. For stews it is always better to add some bones. In Europe is easier to find whole chickens, so just use a half/quarter. In the US sometimes it’s hard to get meat with bones, you can always use some yummy chemicals (like dried bouillons or canned prepared soups).

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook in the crockpot

We left the food cooking for about 8 hours. When we came back, we were hungry and the house smelled delicious. Another trick when using the crockpot is to cover it with a couple of rags, so the heat and the smell don’t get lost around the house… 🙂 This is Carlos’s invention on how to save electricity because he says it keeps the heat in the crockpot. I thought it was ridiculous at first, but i have to admit that it cooks faster.
For the beans use about a handful and a half for every person. We recommend adding a few more just in case just in case you want leftovers or its really yummy and you have seconds or thirds!

Burritos con Salsa Blanca

The Salsa Blanca was an invention that turned out really well.  I had planned on using left over Chili and brown rice for Burritos, but when I looked in the fridge I saw that we also needed to use the mild feta cheese that we had. So, my task was to make a salsa with feta cheese that would be really good on the burritos. I looked a few things up on the Internet but I couldn’t find any suggestions. This is what I came up with- a tasty flavored white sauce for vegetable-bean tacos. It sort of reminded us of the white sauce they serve on Kebabs in Europe.  Carlos and I will make this again!

Salsa blanca:

  • Feta
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1/3 of a clove crushed garlic
  • 1/2 Tbs basil
  • black pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
  • 1/2-1 tbs buttermilk (to thin it)

Squeeze lime and add crushed garlic to it. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients (except buttermilk) to T-mix and blend on 10 for 4 seconds. If you need to thin the sauce add just  bit of buttermilk. I use buttermilk because it will still be tangy like the lime.


We used leftover chili and the 3/4 cups brown rice I had left. I also added an extra zucchini I found. You could do the same thing with Bean tacos or sauteed vegetables. If you are converting Chili into burritos add more cumin and maybe a few more sauteed onions. If don’t have leftover chili you can use canned or cooked beans as follows:

Bean Tacos

  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green pepper (optional)
  • 2+ cups pinto or kidney beans
  • 1 can (400 gr) whole or chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, garlic and green pepper. Add beans and smash them or blend the beans in the T-mix. Add tomato juice and then the tomatoes. You might not need the whole can. Add spices and mix.


Bean Burrito with White Sauce

Bean Burrito with White Sauce