Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frijoles de la Olla (Beans from the Pot)

I was just speaking with a friend the other day and we were talking about Mexican Food. So good, right? But, the fear at times for many people is that if you want to eat healthy low-fat meals how can you think of foods like enchiladas or tacos? There is more to Mexican food that that! I always remember my Mom's Frijoles de la Olla as I was growing up and I make them myself from time to time. You still can have authentic Mexican food, great taste and not feel guilty about eating it! Here you go....

First, I clean the pinto beans that I purchase (3 lbs) as sometimes they may contain debris or broken bean pieces -- once that is done, I soak them overnight in a pot.

Second, once soaked, I make sure to change the water (The problem with beans is the intestinal gas and bloating that can occur after eating them. This gas is caused in part by indigestible oligosaccharides that are contained in the beans) and boil them for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You can test the beans firmness after about an 1 1/2. I do add salt, but close to the end of cooking. It's also wise to check your water level from time to time not only to make sure the beans are covered, but also to "skim" the top of the water to keep it clean.

Third and last but not least -- the beans are ready to go! Some great ingredients to add to the beans are finely diced green onion, crushed oregano, a splash of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar and a little Monterey Jack cheese (or Cotija cheese), cilantro and jalapeño slices to top it off! Enjoy.

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