Refried Beans (Vegetarian, Vegan)
Please be sure to read all of the notes at the bottom of the recipe before you begin.
4 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans* (or equivalent dry beans that have been soaked and cooked)
1 large onion, diced
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can green chilis (jalapenos)**[found in Mexican food section of grocery store] (or equivalent fresh chilis, if desired)
2 cups vegetable stock or broth, (water can be used if you don’t have broth, but result is not as flavorful)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other good quality salt)
Instructions for Recipe Refries
Using a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven (must have lid), sauté onion in olive oil until beginning to turn transparent. (If you are using fresh chili peppers, you can add them to the onions to cook.) When onions are beginning to turn transparent, add salt, cumin and turmeric and remove pan from heat.
Drain beans in a colander and rinse in cold water. Place beans in a food processor with broth, tomato paste and canned chilis with juice. Process until beans are mostly paste. You will still see some specs of skin and may even have some pieces of bean, which is okay and even desirable if you like more texture in your refries.
Add bean mixture to onion mixture and cook on high heat stirring until beans start to “belch.” Partially cover the pan (to allow steam to escape) cook for a minute or so and then remove from heat for a minute. Scrape bottom of pan and repeat the process 6 or 7 times until beans are desired consistency (keep in mind that they will thicken more as they cool).
CAUTION: Bean mixture will be very hot, so be very careful during this process.
Recipe Refries Notes:
1) The idea is to “scorch” the beans without burning them. If you leave them partially covered on the heat for a minute then remove and let them sit for a minute, you will be able to scrape the “scorched-but-not-burned” beans into the rest of the beans. Should you accidentally burn the bottom of the beans, you can salvage them by transferring the unburned portion to another pan and continuing the process.
2) *You can use light red kidney beans or pinto beans or a mixture, if you prefer.
3) **If you like “hotter” refries, you can add more or hotter chilis to your taste. This recipe is for a milder version.
4) If you want a smaller amount, you can cut the recipe in half and still have a good result. The chilis and spices can be adjusted according to your taste. For instance, you can cut the recipe in half and still use a whole can of green chilis.
5) The reason you rinse the liquid from the canned beans is to make them more digestible, i.e. less gas producing. When you replace the liquid with vegetable broth, you are increasing the nutrition in the recipe, as well as replacing the lost liquid.
6) This recipe is just a basis for getting started. Feel free to experiment with spices and ingredients and make the recipe your own. I created this recipe because my family didn’t like refries that you can buy or get in many restaurants, where they may also be made with lard.
Menu ideas using Recipe Refries
Tacos – Serve refries with tortillas or hard taco shells, garnishing with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, guacamole and salsa. (Sour cream and cheese can be included for lacto-vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians.)
Tostadas - Same as tacos only using flat hard tostada shells.
Burritos – Serve refries rolled in soft tortillas with cheese, guacamole, diced tomatoes, black olives, salsa and sour cream, if desired. You can also do just beans or any combination of these ingredients rolled up in a soft tortilla.
Mexican layered dip – Cover large platter with thick layer of refries; Layer guacamole on top (or three avocados blended with lime juice and salt), leaving an edge of the bean layer showing; Follow with a layer made of 1 cup sour cream, ½ cup mayo and taco seasoning to taste, leaving an edge of avocado showing. Place sliced black olives around the edge of the sour cream layer; Fill center with diced tomatoes and sprinkle cheese lightly on entire platter.
When you are done you should see a rim of refries around the edge, then a rim of green avocado, with the center all white, then covered by olives and tomatoes. Serve with corn chips. (We like the organic blue ones!) It is a beautiful and colorful work of art and oh-so-delicious!
Bean dip – Refries can be served alone (with or without cheese) using corn chips for dipping.