Taco beans

Friday, January 07, 2011

For our "Traditional Non-Traditional" Christmas tacos, I started with dry pinto beans. I love the way that they taste when they have been slowly simmered with a few flavorful ingredients. Below is my recipe. You can use these beans in tacos, salads, quesadillas, burritos, and more. They are versatile and provide a healthy dose of protein, iron, folic acid, manganese, and fiber.

Taco Beans
Makes enough for ~6-8 tacos

1 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 a large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried Mexican (or regular) oregano
1/2 tsp dried epazote (optional)
1 tsp (or more) chili powder of choice*
Small strip of kombu (helps flavor and reduces gas-causing sugars)
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt to taste

1. Soak the dry beans in water overnight (or as long as possible).

2. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a sauce pan. Add all ingredients except for the sea salt (it may slow the cooking process) and add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are quite tender. This will take about 90 minutes but will vary depending on how long you pre-soaked the beans. When tender, add the sea salt to taste and simmer for a minute or two more. Drain the beans and remove the kombu and bay leaves.

*Chili powder: I really like the red New Mexico chili powder from Two Spicy Ladies (local to me). I can't wait to try some more of their chili powders too!

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