[Eating Rainbow | Red | Refried Red Kidney Beans]
You’ve probably been banged over the head so many times with the fiber-, protein- and nutrient-rich health benefits of the kidney-shaped legumes that you’ve been squirting a little sriracha hot sauce into an open can of black beans and eating it straight with a fork every day.
(Or maybe that’s just us?)
But did you know that while beans in general are super, three beans topped out the USDA’s List of Top 100 Common Foods for Antioxidants? Small red beans were number 1, followed by kidney beans and pinto beans at the 3rd and 4th spots!
Kidney beans! Who knew? Obviously not us, until recently.
So now we’ve got a stash of both red kidney and pinto beans (which we’re categorizing as “red,” too) alongside our usual black beans, and while throwing whole beans into soups/stews, salads, or Huevos Rancheros has been the case of late, we’ve taken a liking to the idea of refried beans — simmered in stock to soften, then mashed and “fried” in a saute pan. That’s “fried” in quotes, because we’re not really frying the beans in the traditional way with lard. We use a little bit of olive oil in the pan and some of the simmering liquid to get the beans to the right consistency. Pinto beans are the standard refried beans, which is great since they’re right up there on the Antioxidant list, but we’ve been using kidney beans recently to change things up.
Refried Kidney Beans
We use canned beans for the convenience factor in our hectic daily lives, but if you have the time and discipline, starting with dried beans is great. You just need to adjust the recipe knowing that: 1) two 15 oz cans of kidney beans after draining and rinsing yielded 3½ cups of beans, 2) 1 cup dried beans yields 2½ cups cooked beans, and 3) err on the side of more beans!
serves 2 large portions, 4 as a side dish
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained (and rinsed, to remove excess sodium)
½ to 1-cup water, vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add beans and ½ water/stock to pan. Reduce heat to low and cook to soften beans, about 10 minutes. Mash beans in the pot over the low heat with potato masher (or a large fork), adding more water/stock if necessary to get your desired consistency.