Taco Tuesdays: DIY Refried Beans. Banging Flavor without the Fat

11 Mar

We’ve been doing Taco Tuesdays for the last month or so. Our neighbors across the street do it, so Leandro decided we should too. I actually like it, because it gives me a solid plan and lets me tinker. I don’t actually do the taco thing – by the time all the accoutrements get to the table I have eaten more than my share of shredded cheese and settle for rolling a veggie wrap for myself (ripe avocado slices are my solution when I crave creaminess and  am trying — quite unsuccessfully — to battle my cheese dependence).

Olive oil, onion and peppers add to my sorta Mexican veggie wraps on Taco Tuesdays

Olive oil, onion and peppers add to my sorta Mexican veggie wraps on Taco Tuesdays

One of the things I have been tweaking has been refried beans (which are not really refried at all). You can buy them out of a can, and I won’t deny that they taste good, but do I really need that much lard in my life? Actually, I do wish I had more lard in my life, but I would like to know where it came from before I serve it up.

Other ingredients for Taco Tuesdays

Other ingredients for Taco Tuesdays

Anyhoo, it didn’t seem that hard to make my own, so I tried, tweaked, and we liked it a lot. For the other taco stuffings I defrost delicious prepared meats from my freezer: Seasoned Ground Beef. Pollo Guisado (stewed chicken), or I make Flex-Mex chicken (which takes under five minutes to prep – I kid you not). We add cheese, rice, and that’s about it. I add greens and tomatoes, and of course the avocado. As it happens, Leandro likes the homemade better than the store-bought!

Ours are not traditional tacos, but we are not a traditional family. And our Taco Tuesdays are delicious by any standard.



Refried Beans

1 Tbs olive oil, plus additional for smoothing

1 Tbs onion, minced

1 Tbs sofrito (homemade, Goya, or substitute a tablespoon of green cubanelle pepper a.k.a. Italian cooking pepper, minced fine)

1 tsp minced garlic (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dry oregano (2 tsp fresh) and/or 1/4 tsp dry thyme (1/2 tsp fresh)

Salt to taste (add a pinch at a time)

15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained or 1.5 cups soaked pinto beans

Water for thinning

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil at medium high until loose and fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat and reduce heat to medium. If using chopped pepper, add at this point. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally and, if using sofrito/garlic, add at this point. Add the spices, salt, and beans and a Tbs or two of water and cook, mashing beans as you go and adding water if you want a creamier texture. Once everything is warmed through and you have reached the desired texture, serve with burritos, tacos or other Mexican-style dinners.


12 Responses to “Taco Tuesdays: DIY Refried Beans. Banging Flavor without the Fat”

  1. Ashley March 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Yours are definitely the best refried beans I’ve had!

  2. Bluejellybeans March 14, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    Qué buena idea Natalia, me parece que la vamos a adoptar en casa, aunque sólo sea por no tener que pensar en qué cocinar…next step? Burger Mondays 😉
    Me encanta tu receta y la guardo para el próximo martes

  3. Maryanne Kildare March 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Can’t wait to make them. My kids love taoos. Thanks, Natalia!

  4. Conor Bofin March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    HI Natalia, I love the idea of a Taco Tuesday. It helps frame the week for everybody. My problem arises when we end up with Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wholegrain Wednesday, Taco (again) Thursday and Fish on Friday.

    Ireland suffered fish on Friday as we were not allowed to eat meat (The catholic church). As a result of our natural resentment of the imposition, we are a nation that eats very little fish despite being surrounded by the slimy little things. However, I doubt your Taco Tuesday will lead to all that.
    Enjoy it.

  5. lucylox March 12, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    Yum, tacos every Tuesday – what a great plan!

  6. Mad Dog March 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Yum! On the bright side there’s less fat and cholesterol in lard than butter! I go to an amazing cheese shop where they keep making me taste the cheese – you don’t even have to buy it – yeah right 🙂

  7. kathryningrid March 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    You know me–I’m hardly shy about eating fat! But this sounds outstanding and flavorful. 😀

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy March 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Hahaha…it’s really good…and then I get my fat with the meat and cheese!!!! (That I am pretending to avoid)

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