Posts Tagged ‘Refried Beans’

Our Mailbox and Food Stamps Cooking Club

March 26th, 2012
Our readers have sent us some great bean recipes!

Oh, how we love mail!  Several of our faithful Club Members have contributed ideas and recipes and today we share one that will have you making plans to try this dish ASAP!  We owe a debt of gratitude to Carol    who thoughtfully sent her latest find:   (Incidentally, Carol lives in Northeastern USA)

“Campbell’s” style pork beans

1  lb dried pea/navy beans, rinsed, sorted

1  T cooking oil

3  cloves garlic, minced

1  medium onion, chopped fine

8  slices bacon, fried until crisp, drained and cut fine

2  tsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium version)

1 and 1/2-2 cups water

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup cooking oil

1 and 1/2 tsp salt

3 T sugar

2  T corn starch

1  T cold water


1. Soak beans overnight (or use the quick soak method), drain, rinse. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil

2. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in 1 T cooking oil, until onions are translucent, set aside

3. Place beans into a crock pot and cover with 1 1/2-2 cups of the now hot cooking water. Add the soy sauce, onion/garlic mixture, bacon.

4. Cook on high for 2 hours, then set to low and continue cooking until beans are soft

5. Mix ketchup, oil, salt, sugar and add to softened beans in crock pot. Continue cooking on low, to allow flavors to blend.

6. Just before serving, mix a slurry out of the cornstarch and cold water. Carefully fold it into the beans. Let cook a bit more to allow the slurry to thicken the sauce.


I ended up making a double batch, we had some for supper tonight, and I have 2 meals’s worth of “Campbells” beans in the freezer.   ~ Carol

Thank you again, Carol!  We really appreciate your input! 

Another Member, Charlene, has also sent us some great ideas; Mother Connie will save that for another post!

It is heartwarming to know that there are peeps ALL OVER THE GLOBE who are interested to help one another with managing food costs.  The USA is not the only place where folks struggle to feed their family on a shoestring budget.  If you are holding an EBT card for SNAP  or WIC; if you frequent food pantries or use food commodities you know full well what’s going on with food costs.  Our passion is to help people S T R E T C H food dollars and food budgets by offering nutritious, low cost menu ideas.

Oh, and speaking of ideas—I must tell you that it was our great pleasure to host Kay, a lovely woman from England recently.   I was concerned about offering her a breakfast she would truly like to eat.  I needn’t have worried…Kay told me she is accustomed to her “proper English breakfast” of beans on toast!  I was surprised to hear this because it is so simple.  But, just think–it provides complete protein and that is a great start for anyone’s day!  Carol’s bean recipe would fill the bill perfectly  but I am just as fond of refried beans on toast.  When we use The Normanator’s home made bread, that is a VERY satisfying meal, indeed!  And it would be a proper English breakfast, after  all.  grin

We’d love to hear from YOU.  Our address is 

Connie Baum

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How Have You Bean?

January 6th, 2009

When considering the food budget and how to trim costs, most of us think of the lowly bean.  We tend to get into the rut of preparing the same kind of beans in the same old way…because we are human bein’s…pun intended! 

You do know the difference between a rut and a grave, don’t you?  A rut has both ends open.

I would like to invite you out of your rut by sharing some info you may already know and maybe some new ideas.  It seems to me it’s important to explore new ideas and to be creative when you are using Food Stamps, Food Commodities, and Food Pantries.

One cup of dried beans will plump up to three cups when cooked.  This is true of rice, as well, so they work well together for that reason; they also make a complete protein when combined.

It is wise to rinse dry beans before soaking them.  I use a colander and rinse them in warm water.  I allow them to soak overnight in a covered stainless steel saucepan.  In the morning, I scoop away any ‘floaters’, drain the water and start with fresh water.  I am told that adding oil reduces foaming as they cook.  Mom used to add soda but now we know that soda robs the beans of nutritional value.  Beans are loaded with B vitamins; we need to keep them at their best. I salt beans well with sea salt because I am not one of those “no salt/low sodium” cooks. 

SIDEBAR: Dr. Batmanhelidj taught that we have two oceans of water in our bodies: one ocean of salt and one ocean of water.  These need to be in balance and if we fudge on the intake of salt or water those oceans will be jeoparized, as will our good health.  END SIDEBAR.

Cooked beans freeze really well.  They will keep in your home freezer for up to six months.  When you are ready to use them, all you need to do is to add a half cup or so of boiling water to them and heat them through.

If you are using beans and tomatoes together, or if your recipe calls for vinegar or lemon, it’s best to add those ingredients after the beans have become tender.  The reason for this is that the acid of those items will harden the beans and they will not cook to their optimum.

One more idea I want to share with you was offered by my dear friend, Irene Jones.  Here, from Irene’s kitchen comes this gem: ‘My Mother told me her Grandmother told her:  “Add ginger when cooking dry beans–it takes the wind out”.  I still use this hint–and it works! I also think of both of them when I use ginger this way!’

YOUR cooking tips are most welcome!  If you have ideas or cooking tips we invite you to share them.  Send your notions to us at and then watch for your offering to appear on this page!  You’ll also want to enter your name and email on the Food Stamps Cooking Club!

Refried Beans

3 cups cooked pinto beans

1 cup diced onion

1 clove minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

1.  Heat oil in skillet on medium heat

2.  Saute` onion, garlic, and salt in oil til onions are tender

3. While onions cook, mash beans

4. Add beans to pan and cook, stirring constantly until the beans heat through.  Add a small amount of water IF NEEDED to achieve desired consistency.

Makes 6 scrump-deedly-ump-shus servings! (That means it tastes GOOD.)

Connie Baum