Saturday, January 15, 2011

What to do with BEANS....

I was asked to post a little on what to do with Pinto Beans.  Finally, more then a week later, I'm getting to it.

First a little history on Pinto Beans:


•Pinto beans are an off-white color and covered with reddish spots. When pinto beans are cooked, they turn pink.


•Pinto beans come from Peru originally and in the 15th century, made their way across the Atlantic to Europe. People around the world enjoy pinto beans today.

Nutritional Value

•The World's Healthiest Foods organization ( takes a detailed look at the nutritional value of pinto beans (see Resources section below). The bean gives a typical person more than 50 percent of daily recommended values in fiber, folate and manganese, as well as a healthy dose of protein.

Health Benefits

•Pinto beans have been proven effective in stabilizing blood glucose levels, lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. High levels of vitamin B improve brain function and memory.

Read more fact about pinto beans
and here's how to cook dried pinto beans!
I personally NEVER, ok maybe once or twice have cooked with dry beans.  I fear dry beans.  I know they are more frugal, but they never turn the right consistancy for me. 
I used beans as a meal stretcher in MANY ways!  I know this is supposed to be about Pinto Beans, for me pintos are interchangable with the red beans or light or dark kidney beans.  Here are some ways that I use them:
****I use 1/2 - 3/4 pound ground beef in my taco salad and then add a can (or a cup or two) of beans.  I then add the seasoning packet and let that get happy all together.  THEN I add my sliced black olives to that mixture.  (taco salad for me is a 'bar' thing where the kids can add the rest of what they like)
****In my pasta.  I keep it LOADED with VEGGIES AND BEANS with a little meat thrown in.  Depending on who I am cooking for I will use 1/4 - 1 full pound of ground beef along with my beans.  I let that sautee with onions and garlic and then add my veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, or whatever else you can dice finely (mushrooms are always pureed)) then add my sauce of choice, a little beef stock (to give it that homemade taste)), bay leaves and whatever seasoning is calling my name at the moment and let the sauce simmer covered all day.  Add your pasta and you're good to go!
****In CHILI, that one is pretty obvious, LOL
****In my Puerto Rican Style Rice and Beans.  My recipe is something I have in my head with little measurement but you can find a recipe here, substitute the Pigeon Peas for pintos. 
Here is one for refried beans.  Don't forget about a good 3 bean salad (sorry I don't have a good recipe :-( )  Also check out some of my favorite blogs, I KNOW they have some awesome recipes there also!
Always check cooking websites:  Tasty Kitchen or Allrecipes, two of my favorites!
I hope this helps!  Feel free to ask for something more specific.  I KNOW I use beans in other recipes but can't think off the top of my head.
Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Slow method for perfect dry beans:
    1. Sort and rinse them the night before. You want to pick out all the rocks and yucky looking ones, and give them a good rinsing to get the dirt off.
    2. Dump the clean beans into your slow cooker and add enough water to cover them with about an inch of water. Leave them sitting in the slow cooker, on the counter, overnight.
    3. In the morning, throw in anything you want to add. If you're adding a lot more moist items, like canned tomatoes, you might need to pour off a little of the bean water, or plan to thicken the dish up when it's done.
    4. Time the cooking for however you need it for your schedule. I prefer a long and low cook, which means 8-10 hours on the low setting.

    Fast method:
    1. Sort and rinse in the morning. Put the beans in the slow cooker, and then pour roughly the same amount of BOILING water over them!
    2. Add everything else, and turn on your slow cooker.

    The fast method is FAST. If you were cooking on the stovetop, you could throw them in a pot, bring them to a boil, let them sit for an hour, and only need another 1-2 hours of cook time to be able to serve them! I've used the fast method to start a slow cooker full of my most complex pintos around 9 or 10 in the morning and still had them ready for dinner at 6pm. (That was using the 'high' setting.)