I have been trying my hand at Stretchy Beans this week and having fun with it. Pintos are my family’s favorite bean, with Limas running a close second. What follows is the story of my first pot of stretchy beans. I only managed 2 dishes out of them, because I’m still new at this. I hope to work up to 3 or 4 meals per pot of beans.
When starting with dried beans they must first be cooked. I do it this way. Rinse 2-pounds of dry pinto beans in cool water. Pour the dry beans into a large crock-pot. Fill the pot with water to within 1 or 2 inches of the top. Add the following seasonings . . .
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 to 4 tablespoons fat, such as bacon grease, margarine or vegetable oil
Stir the seasonings into the beans. Place the lid on the crock-pot and cook the beans on HIGH overnight or for at least 8 hours. They will be gloriously tender, with flavor and aroma better than you can even imagine.
Serve the beans with cornbread the first day. Refrigerate leftovers.
The next day my beans looked like this.
Not especially appetizing, and maybe even a little scary looking. Since I had made 2-pounds of beans, I still had a lot left. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to make refried beans and freeze the extra for kid snacks later in the week.
So the next step was to get out my food processor, which is old and sorely neglected. I filled the processor half full of cold beans and then pureed. It looked like this.
The bean puree was then poured into small, square rubbermaid containers. It took 2 batches to process all of the beans. After filling the freezer containers with about 1-cup of refried beans each, I topped them with shredded Vegan Gourmet Monteray Jack Cheese.
Finally we put lids on all of them and stacked them in the freezer.
The beans froze quickly. This morning, my oldest son decided to try one for breakfast. He reheated it for 2-minutes in the microwave and then served it with a handful of corn tortilla chips. It’s not a nutritionists dream breakfast, but it was better than some he’s had. He pronounced the beans a success. Since he’ll be eating most of them, I was pleased.
This is a recipe I will make again, to give the boys a quick, nourishing mini-meal or snack that is blessedly affordable too.
P.S. I have borrowed Robyn’s method for using pictures to tell a recipe story because they seemed so effective on her site.