It’s been a while, my friends! I am so thrilled to be back here on Forget The Box, sharing my passion for vegan living with all of you!
Much has happened since you last read me about 10 months ago. Namely, my cookbook, Cooking With Amore, was finally published and launched at the Montreal SPCA Annexe (Emergency Shelter). I completed a program in gourmet raw vegan cuisine and raw food nutrition at Living Light Culinary Institute in northern California. And, to keep things exciting, I moved to Los Cabos in Mexico!
It has always been my dream to live in a beautiful, tropical location. I decided to take the leap and make it happen this past May, making the drive all the way from Montreal to San Jose del Cabo in Baja California Sur, Mexico. What an incredible adventure it has been so far!
I have so much to share with you, but let me start this week with the sheer deliciousness known as refried beans. It’s easy to come across this highly popular dish in Mexico, since it is served as a side dish with almost everything, including breakfast.
I love making bean dishes from scratch, soaking beans overnight and cooking them myself (rather than using the canned variety). I was super eager to make this dish at home, but not before reading up a little to find out its origins and history.
Refried beans are essentially cooked and mashed beans. The name “refried beans” is derived from the Spanish “frijoles refritos” which interestingly does not refer to the beans being refried (fried twice), but rather well-fried. In fact, one way of preparing these beans doesn’t involve frying at all. You can basically boil the beans and add all the other ingredients to the same pot until the mixture is thick and creamy. At that point, you can use a potato masher or put all or most of the mixture into a blender for a very brief blend.
When I make them, I do use the frying method because I always boil a big batch of beans and freeze some for other recipes.
Refried beans are very versatile. They can be served as a side dish, as a filling in a tortilla or gordita, as a dip for totopos or tostadas, as a layer for nachos – the possibilities are endless! I even add a large dollop to my salad for extra flavor and heartiness. Here’s my recipe. You can use any beans you like, but it seems that pinto or black beans are the most popular.
Maria’s Rendition of Refried Beans
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or any oil you prefer for cooking
1 white or red onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 poblano or red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked pinto or black beans
2 cups water
¼ cup chopped cilantro, more for garnish if desired
Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste
- Add oil, chopped onion, garlic and peppers to a large frying pan and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked beans and 1 cup of water to the frying pan and allow to simmer until most of the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add second cup of water and repeat.
- Once most of the water has evaporated, and the bean mixture is very soft, stir in chopped cilantro and turn off heat.
- Use a potato masher or blender to create a thick purée. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
So full of flavor, I just love this recipe and hope you enjoy it as well. Read me next week as I share with you another vegan recipe and tale from Mexico!
Get Cooking With Amore for many tips and tricks for cooking beans, and over 100 vegan recipes, all made with amore!