Friday, January 11, 2013

Pinto Beans- From the Old South to South of the Border!

Let's just jump right in with the how-to:

If you are asking yourself.... 
What do if I do if my kids hate BEANS????
Skip to the bottom of this post for some great tips!!!

Prepping your pinto beans-

Soak beans using one of the method on the bag.  

There are two ways: 

1.  Quick Soak Method-  Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain. 
2.  Overnight Soak Method-  Cover beans with water and let sit overnight or at least 8 hours.  Drain.

I almost always use the overnight soak method when cooking pinto beans. 

Day 1:  Pinto Bean Soup


Soaked and drained pinto beans (2 lb. package)
3-4 medium carrots chopped or baby carrots.  (I will omit carrots sometimes.)
1 onion chopped
1/2 lb. of ham or country style pork ribs (any type of pork will do)
bouillon (enough for the amount of water added to the beans)
salt/pepper/garlic powder/cumin (season to your taste--I hardly ever measure spices)

Put all ingredients into a 5 quart crockpot and cook until meat is done and beans are tender. (High for at least 5 hours, Low for 8-10) You may have to add more water, if the level goes below the beans as they cook. 

Serve with hot cornbread or the bread of your choice. 

Day 2:  Bean Dip


Bean soup
salsa, if desired
tortilla chips

Warm up individual bowls, smash beans and add cheese/salsa. 

Serve with tortilla chips, raw veggies and fruit.

Day 3:  Bean, Cheese and Salsa Quesadillas


1 1/2 cups of beans smashed
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup salsa

Mix the first 3 ingredients.  Spread on a tortilla and cook on medium heat in a pan.  (I usually spray the tortilla with cooking spray before putting in pan.)  Cook until brown. 

Serve with raw veggies and fruit.

Day 4:  Haystacks or Bean Chalupas (inspiration found here)


rest of beans
toppings:  cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, guacamole, assorted bell peppers, chives, onion, salsa, etc.

Smash the rest of the cold beans you have in the refrigerator.
Warm in microwave.
Spray cooking sheets and lay out tortillas.
Spread beans on top of tortillas

Cook on 425 degrees until tortillas are brown and crispy.

Top with tons of veggies and cheese.

Here's what we used:  cheddar cheese, black olives, green onions, red, orange and green bell peppers, lettuce, avocado and salsa. 

Here are some other recipes you can use with leftover pinto beans:

Seven Layer Taco Dip 
(substituting your beans (smashed) for the refried beans)

Bean Enchiladas- use your beans instead of refried beans in tortillas with cheese.  Top with enchilada sauce. Bake in oven until warm.

Beans and Rice- serve bean soup over with cheese.  

Freeze leftovers for later use.

Here are a couple of recipes I haven't tried yet, but look like great possibilities:

Pinto Beans and Cheese Patties

Spicy Bean Burritos

Southwestern Pinto Bean Burgers

What do I do if my kids hate BEANS????

Tips when serving children:
  • Pair a new food with something they are familiar with (bread, cornbread, chips)
  • Presentation is everything---a little cheese on top goes a long way when serving a new food.
  • Texture is important-sometimes grating or smashing an unfamiliar (or disliked) food before adding it to recipe makes the difference.
  • Don't assume if you child dislikes something, they'll refuse to eat it if presented differently.  (I have one child who just does not like salad at all, but he asked for seconds on lettuce when eating the Haystacks and Seven Layer Taco Dip).  This goes back to "presentation is everything".
  • Sneaking healthier ingredients into recipes is NOT A CRIME!!!!
  • Give smaller portions
  • Research says that "Children need to be offered a new food as many as 10-15 times before they will eat it."   Don't give up after the first time!
Note:  Our rule is you don't have to have seconds on new foods, you just have to eat your portion.  (The very first time I give ridiculously small portions)  We also allow reasonable "pick-outs"---picking out one ingredient you don't like.   

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