Living on Refried Dreams

There is always something new to learn about cooking.

Last week, after I rinsed the entire bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain and Bean Soup Mix, I laid the mixture out on a towel to dry and took out what I needed for soup, intending to store the rest in a tupperware in the cupboard until I wanted to cook them. Dave promptly told me that no, since I rinsed them, they all had to be used up or they would get moldy.

Why do I always feel like the last to know things? Sulking, I put the beans in a pot to soak overnight, cooked them the next morning before work, stored them in a huge tupperware, and have been trying to incorporate them into lunches all week. But there are only so many beans two people can eat.

When my brother told me we were cooking quesadillas for Dad’s birthday tonight, I eagerly jumped at the chance to bring the refried beans. No one needs to know that they are refried beans and whole grains. 🙂

I added four cups of the already cooked bean and grain mixture and 1/2 a cup of water to my mini slow cooker.

While waiting for the beans to warm up, I got to work on the spices.

In a medium skillet, I sauteed 1 large chopped onion in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When the onions got soft, I added 2 tbsp minced garlic, a can of whole green chiles, 2 tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, and a pinch each of salt and cayenne pepper.

Before adding the mixture to the beans, I mashed them using a stick blender. Then I added the spices to the beans along with 1 tbsp of oregano.

Okay, so maybe refried beans don’t look the most appetizing, but I had a spoonful, and they taste great! I turned the slow cooker to warm, and let it do it’s own thing for the rest of the day.

After a trip to the grocery store, I took a quick lunch break.

Spinach, broccoli slaw, green beans, salmon, and roasted potatoes. A piece of vegan chocolate banana bread for dessert.

Then on to my next contribution for tonight: Pico de Gallo.

Pico is proof that you don’t need complicated recipes or tons of ingredients to create something that tastes fresh and scrumptious. I followed a recipe from

  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • salt to taste

Dice jalapenos. I only used two, because I like spice but not unbearable spice. And the refried beans are already spicy.

Chop tomatoes. Add to bowl with jalapenos.

Dice onion. Add to tomatoes and jalapenos.

Chop cilantro. The directions from the Pioneer Woman said “Don’t be stingy!” Me, stingy? I threw an extra handful of cilantro in just to prove how generous I am. Then added it to the onion, tomato, and jalapenos.

I heated half a lime in the microwave for 10 seconds (my mom’s tip) before squeezing it over the bowl. A few sprinkles of sea salt.

Enough flavor? One way to find out.

Yup. Tastes good.

Now I’m going to pack up my beans, pico, and leftover cherry-jalapeno margarita mixture from the freezer and head over to my brother’s to celebrate my Dad’s birthday!


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