Thursday, August 25, 2011

Southwestern Kidney Beans

I had a meal at what is considered the 'best Mexican restaurant' in my town.. and I live in a town known for its' restaurants, so imagine my dismay when their "drunken beans" lacked any flavor at all, except for, well alcohol. Yuk.  

It makes me really sad (and MAD) that so many chef's don't seem to care about their vegetarian options.  Maybe it's a good thing since I rarely go out to eat.  I usually end up feeling pissed off and like I've wasted a lot of money.   

Since I have worked in restaurants catering to many different types of people, I AM hard to please.. but I also know that with just a LITTLE thought and effort you can make vegetarian food that is delicious! 

OK.. rant over..  I made these Southwestern Spiced Kidney beans yesterday to have on hand and while I may not serve these in a restaurant, they are still MUCH better than a lot of the crap out there. Here's the recipe and I am including a variation for those who don't like heat as well! 

Spicy Southwestern Kidney Beans 
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, diced (take the seeds out and use less if you don't like spice or leave it out all together)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1/2-1 cup bean cooking liquid 
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (or if you don't like heat, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste (around 1/2 teaspoon)

  1. In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat add the oil, cumin and chili powder. Toast for 10 seconds
  2. Turn heat down to medium, add the onion and jalapeno and a pinch of salt, cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the beans and cooking liquid as needed, along with the chipotle. cover and cook for 5 more minutes
  4. Stir in cilantro and vinegar and salt to taste. Let stand for 5 minutes, then re-season.  If the beans are bland, add for salt and vinegar as needed depending on your taste. 

You can mash these with a potato masher in the pan, puree them in a food processor for or eat them as is.

See how easy that is?


  1. I hear you on the vegetarian dishes at some restaurants! It can be so annoying.

    Your recipe looks so simple and delicious, I am definitely trying it once it is a bit cooler over here.

  2. Feel exactly the same way most of the time when I go out to eat. Disappointed that restaurants aren't showing the public that veg food can be delicious! And annoyed about having wasted money...
    The beans are going on the to make list!

  3. I'm always amazed by your versatility with food, same beans yesterday and today an you give us two completely different flavors. Wow, I guess that is why enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Melody, I agree with you. Most restaurants have the "token vegetarian option" -- usually something involving a veggie burger or portobello mushrooms. I have changed how I look at going out to eat these days . . . I go out to eat to spend time with friends, not necessarily to have a special meal. If I want a truly special meal, I'll almost always cook it at home! (Unless I want Indian food . . . that is something I have not yet mastered!)

    I'm not a brat or anything -- I just think vegetarian options are a restaurant afterthought. (Most of the time, anyway!)

  5. I have given up on eating out since becoming a vegan. At this time there are no dedicated vegan restaurants in Anchorage and I'm not going to order hummus every time I go out! Those beans look delicious and I shall put them on my to do list.

  6. I am with you on the rant. As someone who cooks veg and vegan meals that people always want to eat/have the recipe, etc, I know it is not hard. If you've read the cookbook Great Chefs Cook Vegan, you will find not only can it be done, but gourmet