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Since everyone I know will be barbecuing tomorrow in celebraton of July 4th, I thought I would share my awesome bean recipe with you! They are a perfect barbecue side dish and their make-ahead recipe clears up time for more amusing pursuits! My pinto beans are soaking as we speak, in anticipation for their date with the crockpot tomorrow morning!

These beans are really easy to make, low-fat and so very tasty! They are very flavorful as is, but feel free to spice them up by adding additional hot peppers or hot sauce. These are a great add to any barbecue, mexican feast, Super Bowl party, or just any time you want tasty beans!

What goodies are you making for the 4th of July?

Mexican Style Pinto Beans

1 pound pinto beans, sorted for any stones/bad ones and rinsed

1/2 pound turkey bacon (You can leave this out if you’re meat-free or want to cut fat and calories)

1 – 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes in puree

1 – 4 oz. can of diced green chiles

1 onion, chopped (I prefer the flavor of red onions in this dish)

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin (My favorite spice IN THE WORLD!!!! It reminds me of my childhood and the wonderful, exotic aromoas that came out of our Lebanese neighbor’s kitchen. Man that woman could cook!!!)

2-3 crushed & chopped garlic cloves (I use my garlic press here. Love that tool!!!)

3/4 cup cilantro, rinsed, dried and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste (I once heard someone say, “Salt is to food, what breath is to life!” So true!)
Place your rinsed pinto beans in a large pot or bowl and cover the bean with water, enough for 3 inches over. Let them soak overnight.

Drain the beans and place into slow cooker. Pour in enough fresh water to cover the beans. Stir in all ingredients except the cilantro. Cook beans on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

About 1/2 hour before the beans are due to be done, stir in the chopped cilantro. Continue cooking beans until they are soft. Give them a taste to see if you need to add any more salt and pepper.

I hope you and your family enjoy these beans as much as we do! I make them pretty regularly and they are always a hit. 

Tip: Have a large amount left over? No sweat! These little wonders freeze beautifully!!! So you can enjoy them on a busy night when you don’t have time to cook!

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