Refried beans, brown basmati rice, and salad

Not-leftovers!  I had perogies with shredded cheese for dinner (healthy!).  Therefore, I needed to think new foods for this bento.  Here’s how I do refried beans… not the most authentic method, but quick, easy, and full of goodness.  Black beans are a good source of iron, fibre, antioxidants, and protein, but you could make this with your favourite kind.  I have made this with white beans and kidney beans.  It does not work the same way with chickpeas, although they still taste nice.

  • sautee 1 small diced onion in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat until nice and soft – don’t skip this step, as there’s not a whole lot of cooking going on after this stage.
  • grate in 2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, stir it in, and sautee until nice and fragrantly garlicky.
  • Add: 1 tbsp chili powder, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp cumin, and 1 can of drained beans.
  • Mash the beans as best you can.  You will likely need to add water to loosen the mixture up, but try to hold off as late as possible, as the beans are harder to mash once the water is added.

You can see my refried beans are quite a bit chunkier than smooth, but I actually quite like them that way.  I’m the one in the Mexican burrito joint who can’t decide between black beans and refried, as texturally, you’re missing out if you get one or the other…

I have a little feta cheese on top of the beans.  I personally love the contrast between feta and black beans, but acknowledge that I’ve failed in a vegan bento today due to those tasty little cubes!

I have brown basmati rice under the diced yellow pepper, and a simple green salad of romaine, grape tomatoes, and halved snap pea pods (don’t they look awesome?).  Dressing is in the chick.  Just to the side, as it wouldn’t fit in the bento, is a mandarin orange.  Snack is secret, as my foodie pen pal package arrived today, and I have already want to get started on the noms before the post reveal day!

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