The Incredible, Edible Bean


I thought I would share a favorite recipe that was given to me 15 years ago.

I use it weekly.

It is one of my favorites. My sister Krii gave the recipe to me. Her friend Allison gave it to her. It is:


  • healthy

  • simple

  • multi-purpose

  • cheap

The Quadruple Play!

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These 8 lbs. of  pinto beans are $5.94 a bag at Wal-Mart. Two cups of dried beans equal 1 pound of dried beans. That is 35 cents for every cup of dried beans! Your 6 cups of beans  in a  crock pot  costs you $2.11, plus the cost of an onion and a few carrots. At Winco, 25 lbs of beans cost 15.20 each.  I also know Costco sells 25 lbs. of  pinto beans. I am starting to look for organic beans in my own shopping.  The price goes way up for those. The cheapest I could find was on Amazon for dark red beans 2.40 a lb.

The secret of this bean recipe is that it substitutes vegetables for lard that restaurants put in pinto beans to make them flavorful.

Rinse 4-6 cups of pinto beans. Fill a crock pot with water until it is about 2 inches from the top. Put the rinsed beans in the crockpot. Add a cut up onion in quarters, and 2-3 carrots, washed but unpeeled. I don’t even cut them up, I just cut the ends off.  Cook 4-6 hours on high or until the beans are tender. Viola! Delicious, tasty, filling. It needs a lot of salt. I start with 2 teaspoons and taste it  from there. I used to use a hand blender to make refried beans, but my husband prefers the beans whole these days. If you want to make refried beans, you drain out most of the water, but not all, so that there is a cup or so of liquid left and use a handblender to  mix in the vegetables with the beans. YUMMY!


We use these beans in chili, bean burritos, tacos and bean bowls, (another recipe from Krii, where brown rice is the foundation then the beans and then you add whatever  toppings you like—cilantro, guacamole/avocados cubed, lime juice, fresh tomatoes.)

You can use this same recipe with any other type of beans and the carrots/ onion combo flavors them so beautifully. We have been eating these for years—and it helps rotate our food storage, too, because dried beans, properly stored can last up to 20 years. Amy Dacyzyn, in her wonderful book, The Tightwad Gazette , recommends freezing leftovers immediately so that they don’t get overlooked in your fridge and go bad. This tip has helped me curb my food waste. These beans freeze beautifully—wait until they cool down to put them in containers or baggies.

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In Eat to Live, Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends eating 1 cup of beans a day in order to cut back on meat. Using these flavorful beans is a great way to do that! What are some of your favorite ways you use beans?


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