In the last few months I have been more frugal in my life to save money for specific future endeavours. To do this, I have looked at foods that are simpler, cheaper, and healthier. Funny enough, these factors often go together!
As an athlete and a generally busy person I don’t usually have a lot of time to prepare meals. I tri to cook larger meals on the weekend and eat leftovers, but as the week progresses I either get sick of the leftovers or have eaten it all. As a single person, meal planning is pretty simple and I usually have enough food around to make good meals, even without the leftovers.
A little while ago I discovered the pure JOY of making my own refried beans. I wonder to myself if I am just slow on the up-take on this whole thing because it is SO SIMPLE, so cheap, so tasty, and so healthy! In Saskatoon, which is in Canada for all of you from other places, refried beans can cost up to $3 a 400 mL can (maybe a bit less). A can of organic pinto beans (which is what refried beans are made of) are about half of that. Taking dry beans, soaking them, and cooking them yourself would be even cheaper and healthier (but much more time consuming!). Side note: I am going to experiment with freezing cooked beans over the next little while.
Anyway, here is my personal recipe for refried beans:
VT Refried Beans
1 400 mL can of pinto beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped into small bits
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. of Braggs or soy sauce
Optional spices: cumin, chilli powder
In a frying pan or sauce pan, or any pan really, fry the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Put in the beans and start mashing them – I use the spoon and just keep (s)mashing them. Once they warm up, they will mash more easily, so just keep going. Then I put in the Braggs/soy sauce. I give it a stir and voila: a fabulous healthy protein. It takes about 10 minutes in total from prep to completed beans.
Personally, I keep whole wheat wraps frozen in the freezer for days like this. I take a couple out and warm them up either in a frying pan or in my toaster oven. Put some greens, peppers, beans, and tomatoes together to make a wonderfully delicious meal!
Here is a photo of my beans:
(Please Note: Refried beans are not all that appetizing to look at; they are much more appetizing to eat!)
Nutritional Info about Refried Beans:
+ Pinto beans high fiber content can actually help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
+ High in iron, which is a common concern among vegan athletes (especially women)
Here is a nutritional breakdown of what a 398 mL can of Safeway Organics Pinto Beans are: