Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Heaven: An Easy, Nutritious, Delicious Pinto Bean Dinner

What would it be like to have a personal cook, someone to prepare all of our nutritious, delicious meals for us? All we would have to do is show up at the dinner table ready to eat. I could handle that, but alas reality sets in, and I have to work with what I have - me...and children and a husband who sometimes cook.

The truth is that I don't really mind cooking. It's just the cooking pretty-much-every-day that gets old, so I try to cook smart, which for me, means cooking big batches of whatever I'm making so it will feed us for more than one meal. I love using the Crock-pot or slow cooker because once I throw everything into the pot and set the temp, I'm done. I just have to get the kids to set the table before dinner and prepare a simple salad. This makes eating healthy super easy.

Not the most exciting photo ever, but for me, the sight of this pot means dinner is on it's way. When I come home to the delicious smell of pinto beans or some other nutritious, delicious meal in the slow cooker, I feel like someone else has done the cooking for me.

Here's my much-requested recipe for a delicious, steaming pot of vegan pinto beans -

Debra's Favorite Pinto Beans:

4 cups pinto beans
8 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
2 heaping teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping teaspoon of oregano
1 generous tablespoon of minced garlic (I use garlic from a jar; use less garlic, if desired.)

Rinse beans and add them and water to the slow cooker. Add diced onion and seasonings. Set slow cooker to low for 6 to 8 hours-plus cooking time. Or, set it on high to cook in 4 to 5 hours. I do not soak the beans overnight. Depending on the size of your household, you may be able to use this for a second meal as is, or by adding some browned ground turkey and a 1/4 cup of of chili powder and, if desired, a can of stewed tomatoes. You can also freeze single serving-size portions to use as needed. Enjoy!  


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