Refried Beans

April 14, 2010

This makes a huge amount of beans. Freeze portions in ziplock bags.

5-1/2 cups (or 2 lbs.) dry pinto or black beans

3-1/2 quarts water, as needed

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp chili powder

4 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp salt, to taste

Cook dry beans. Melt butter in frying pan. Add oil and onion and garlic and saute. Placed cooked beans, reserving bean liquid, in mixing bowl; add onion, garlic and remaining ingredients. Blend beans with electric mixer or by hand with potato masher or ricer, adding amount of reserved bean liquid until beans are the consistency desired.

Serve with: Grated cheddar cheese, Broccoli, and Tossed Salad with Taco Chips OR

Sliced hard-boiled eggs, Rice, Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Use for: burritos, tostadas, Super Nachos, or as a side dish


Fried Rice

March 14, 2010

A very economical and quick meal, particularly when you use cooked rice leftover from another meal. Get creative and use any veggies you have on hand rather than just sticking to the ones listed in the recipe. This is a very versatile dish.

4 cups cooled cooked rice

2 Tbsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 carrot, shredded

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup scrambled eggs (You can substitute the eggs for any other leftover meat or poultry.)

1/4 cup soy sauce

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add carrot and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and starting to get browned bits. Add garlic and eggs, stirring well and breaking up the eggs into very small pieces. Immediately add rice, stirring well to coat with oil. At this point, you can also add any other vegetables or leftover cooked meat that you’d like to use. Cook over medium-high heat without stirring about 3-4 minutes so that some of the rice gets browned bits. Drizzle soy sauce evenly over rice in pan; stir well. Cook for a few more minutes. Serve with additional soy sauce on the side, if desired.

Mandarin Broccoli

February 17, 2010

This is such a bright, colorful vegetable dish! It’s something different and adds a lot to a simple meal.

1/2 cup water

1 cup sliced onion

1 cup carrots, cut diagonally in thin slices

6 large mushrooms, sliced (optional)

2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped

1 Tbsp butter

2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets

2 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp slivered almonds or pine nuts (optional)

Steam broccoli until just tender. Set aside. Saute onion and carrots in water over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, pineapple and butter and saute for 5 more minutes. Add honey and mix well. Fold in broccoli and nuts. Heat through. Serve.

Roasted Root Vegetables

February 16, 2010

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

1 rutabaga or turnip, peeled, thinly sliced (optional, but adds a nice color)

2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 medium head cabbage, coarsely shredded

olive oil


salt, to taste

Put all vegetables together in a 9×13 baking dish. Put just enough olive oil on them to lightly coat them all. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary and toss well. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375*F for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.

Serve with:

Three Bean Salad

Biscuits and Jam

Apples and Onions

February 16, 2010

This is a little side dish that my kids convinced me to try after we read about it in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy. It was the first time my kids ranted and raved about how delicious onions are!

2 apples, diced

1 very large onion, sliced or diced


Melt butter in a frying pan. Add apples and onions and fry to your heart’s content! Fry at least until the onions are transparent. The longer you fry them, the sweeter they will be.