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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mexican Charro Beans

I make Mexican food at least 2-3 times per month. We all love it in my house so I make burritos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, Mexican salads and quesadillas galore! So I have a lot of side dishes that typically serve with whatever Mexican main course I am serving. This is definitely a staple that I make whenever we have Mexican night at our house. It is so easy and really good!

2 cans of pinto beans
1 t olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of fresh salsa (I use La Mexicana, in the produce section at Publix)
1/2 t of lime zest
1 t fresh lime juice

Saute onion in olive oil for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat until onion softens then add garlic and cook for another minute. At this point add your beans, I partially drain them pouring about half the liquid out. Gently stir in stock, salsa, zest and juice. Cook for at least 20 minutes on medium low heat but they can cook for an hour or longer.

Other options for this recipe that add more calories and fat but also good flavor is to start with bacon or Chorizo. In the past I have eliminated the oil and started with two slices of thick cut bacon, then just followed the rest of the directions using the bacon grease to cook the onion instead of the oil. When I do this I have a really happy hubby! He grew up eating all kinds of fattening stuff and bacon makes his heart sing (so he thinks, I say it makes it cry but that's a debate for another day). Also my husband loves Chorizo Sausage so sometimes I add about 1/4 a cup of Chorizo if we have it. But for those who like it light, this recipe does not even need all this, and is quite delicious with just the healthy stuff.

I use a fresh salsa that I get from the produce section at Publix. I have to keep it on hand for my husband who eat massive amounts of this stuff! We used to get the Medium spiced salsa but my kids love it so much that I just buy the Mild these days.

Weight Watcher Friends: These beans have 3 points per 1/2 cup serving. If you add the bacon or Chorizzo, then add a point per serving.

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