06 November 2012

my favourite refried beans & more on iron

one of the staple meals in our kitchen is a quick, throw together mexican spread.  it's fast, fresh and always hits the spot.  it also features one of my favourite things:  refried beans.  {although technically they're just cooked once the way i make them...}

i love refried beans.  love them.  i could eat 2 cups of them at one sitting, and frankly if m isn't around to share them stop me, i often do.

here's my go-to bean recipe; one i have been meaning to put it up on the blog for months now which rounds out dinner along with a quick guacamole, a chopped salsa fresca made up of tomato, cilantro & green onions and some daiya quessadillas fried up in corn tortillas, or in this case ezekiel wraps.
my favourite refried beans
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 bpa-free can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
1/4 cup salsa verde
a big squeeze of lime
splash of beer (optional, but if mark's going to have one with dinner i just crack it open first and use some)

to make the beans, saute the onion until soft and then add the beans & salt and cook a few minutes. add in the salsa & beer, cover the pan and simmer 5 minutes to soften things up more. then smash the beans with the back of a fork - they don't need to be really smooth, but it's nice to break most of them up and they become creamy.  let them cook down uncovered about 10-15 minutes over low heat.  give them a taste and then you can season them a bit more with salt, a bit more beer or salsa if you want, a dash of hot sauce and they're ready to eat!

as i mentioned in my latest update, my iron had dropped a bit recently and iron is super important as it piggybacks oxygen in red blood cells.  so, in addition to supplementing with floravit, i've been continuing to fill my diet with iron rich foods. black beans are definitely my favourite dietary source of iron but my other favourites include:
  • pumpkin seeds {great sprinkled on coconut yogurt or chia pudding}
  • organic blackstrap molasses {right from the spoon!}
  • organic tofu & tempeh
  • spinach
  • and dried apricots and prunes

here are even more plant-based sources of iron:
  • spirulina
  • quinoa
  • oatmeal
  • prune juice
  • cooked mushrooms
  • soybeans
  • lentils {and other beans & legumes}
  • dried figs

for a bit more in depth discussion of iron needs i definitely recommend this read from gena over at choosing raw that touches on heme vs non-heme iron and daily requirements suggested for women regardless of diet.

what are some of your favourite sources of iron?


  1. I love the addition of beer to your refried beans, now I'm going to have to try it for sure! ;)

    1. it really gives them a nice little oomph!

  2. this looks delicious!! i'm totally up for a mexican vegan feast and these refried beans are a must ;)

    1. honestly, i'm so obsessed with them caitlin it's not even funny. in fact, i could go for some right now...

  3. I didn't realize pumpkin seeds contained iron; that's good to know. So far my iron levels are still good at 27 weeks pregnant. I think it's because I eat a green smoothie for breakfast every morning, loaded with kale. I also like cooking in cast iron pans.

    1. yum, i love my daily green smoothies for breakfast too! i really need to get myself a cast iron pan - something for my christmas list i think!

  4. Beery refried beans and vegan nacho cheeze with some oven baked home made corn tortillas loaded with avocado and salsa...I am drooling in anticipation of this feast! We are just about to head into what is apparently going to be a pretty hot summer this year (for Tasmania anyway) and these sorts of things are what I intend on living on. I haven't had much luck with homemade refried beans. They always turn out stodgy rather than unctious and your recipe promises to be just right. Cheers for this lovely recipe and the heads up on iron :)

  5. Mmmm, I love refried beans! I used to refuse to eat them because I thought they looked gross (so silly), but now they're my favorite part of a Mexican ispired meal.