Thursday, February 3, 2011

pinto beans and picadillo

I'm trying to lose weight and I really enjoy cooking. I've been working on making meal planning by at least the week a habit because it makes grocery store trips so much easier and cheaper. This is all culminating in a lot of really good meals and leftovers at home.

Tonight, pinto beans and picadillo with flour tortillas is what we're having. K and I are trying to get away from using the seasoning packets you can pick up even though they're super cheap. They tend to have either a lot of sodium or a lot of sugar you can avoid if you season things yourself. I'm trying to be mindful of being healthy for me and K right now but also for S to grow up eating good homemade food. I hope that I can teach him just by showing him that it's easy to eat healthy at home and still eat really good food. And also that it's important, easy, and fun to have physical activity in your life on a daily basis. Hopefully I'll get there myself on that one soon!

So anyway, pinto beans. Super easy. Super delicious. And a side benefit is your house smells amazing all day long. First, you have to either soak the beans overnight or do a quick soak where you boil them for an hour. Allegedly this helps you to not have gas when you eat them, but based on my experience with my husband last night, I'm going to say that I either didn't do it right or there's something else to add to it later to make it really non gas inducing. Then, you put them in a pot with a white or yellow onion cut in medium sized chunks, a hunk of pork fat, a jalapeno or two, and minced garlic. Cover the whole thing with water so there's about two inches of water covering it all. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to very low and put a lid about halfway over the pot. Let simmer for at least four hours. But longer is totally fine. Check every 45 minutes to an hour to make sure there's water covering the whole mess of goodness. About two hours into it or so, I taste the broth and see how it is. I usually add garlic powder and pepper to taste. They turn out really yummy. And if you want, you can make refried beans the next day. All you do is pour leftover beans in a pan, add a little bit of oil, and heat them and mash them all up.

And picadillo. I did one pound of ground sirloin, half a yellow onion, two small potatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, and a jalapeno. You put the onion, cubed potato, and beef (you could use ground chicken or turkey if you want too) in the pan and cook it all together. Make sure all the beef is crumbled and cooked through. Season it with salt, pepper, a small amount of cinnamon, cumin, and garlic powder. When the beef is cooked, add the can of tomatoes and mix in well. Add about half a can of water and stir it all up and then cover the pan to make sure the potatoes get nice and soft. You can eat this as a taco filling, by itself, or top off a bowl of beans with it. It's delicious!

So there's my random meal tips for the day!

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