Our family enjoys Mexican food. For a quick meal I often put together our version of taco salad. I keep most of the ingredients on hand: sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, sliced olives, chips, and lettuce. If I have time I’ll chop up an onion to sprinkle on top. These items alone make a delicious salad. However, it’s not very filling – at least not for our family of eleven. That’s when I add my own version of “refried” beans.
I usually keep cooked pinto beans in the freezer, but if I’ve run out, I quickly cook up some lentils. They’re great because they do not require pre-soaking and cook in 30 minutes. When they’re done I drain them, then mash them together with salt, pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. If your family likes them spicy you can toss in a can of chopped jalapeno peppers.
To serve, I put a big pile of refried beans on bed of lettuce, surround it with chips, then add all the other ingredients to each individual’s liking. In the picture above, I had run out of most things, but with just beans, chips, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream – we still had a complete meal and everyone went away satisfied.