RECIPE | Homemade Refried Beans... in the Instant Pot

A couple weeks ago I shared in this post and on episode 25 of our podcast, that I was testing out batch of homemade refried beans (vegan & gluten free) in our new favorite kitchen addition, the Instant Pot. I was *almost* successful that night, but wanted another run through before sharing with you. 

The first time around, they tasted great, they were a bit dense because I underestimated how much they would thicken up. The second run though was much better and I'm happy to report that we have a nice stash of these delicious homemade refried beans in our freezer. The recipe is for the Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker), but you could adjust for the stove top or slow cooker - the great thing with the Instant Pot is cooking time is dramatically reduced and in an hour, we went from dried to delicious refried beans. 




  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans - sorted and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro - stems and leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 9 cups of water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste



  1. Rinse and sort beans and set aside. 
  2. Set Instant Pot on the saute setting. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, add onions and sautee for 5-10 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and roughly chopped cilantro stems. Saute another 3-5 minutes until aromatic. Mix in cayenne, chili powder, cumin, beans and water. 
  4. Cover and set Instant Pot on Bean/Chili Setting for 35 minutes - unplug when time is up. After 10 minutes, release remaining pressure. Check beans to make sure they're tender at this point - if they're not, close it back up and set for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a large pan over medium/high heat and add remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil. 
  6. Strain beans (reserving liquid - you'll need this later), add to hot pan with oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring as needed to keep from sticking to the pan. 
  7. Begin alternating adding liquid (more to begin with) and mashing beans (I use an immersion blender, but a potato masher will work, too) until you reach the desired consistency - we like ours to have just a bit of texture, so we don't blend completely smooth. 
  8. Add salt to taste and mix in lime juice (you can microwave a the lime for 30 seconds and get a lot more juice with little effort). 

Garnish as you like (queso fresco and cilantro is a favorite at our house) and enjoy! 


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In the Kitchen | Apple Pecan Cobbler

Winter has arrived and the boys enjoyed playing in the fresh snow this morning.

Rollo Logan Jan 010415

We've all adjusted nicely with our new addition and Rollo seems to have settled into life as part of our family - he's a bit bullheaded at times, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for a husky and it usually makes us giggle when we're trying to reprimand him.

IMG_20150104_113923We survived the holidays and I finished my knitted projects just in time. I would love to share the photos I took of the 6 hats I knit, but sadly they were all lost due to a faulty SD card, with one super cute exception:

Apple Pie Rollo

Things have been a whirlwind since the holidays - prepping for the Firefly Fibers Winter KAL & 2015 Sweater Club, we've also added a Sock of the Month at the shop and this month's yarn from Renee of Spun Right Round is pretty fabulous (and queued up for tonight's knitting).

PicsArt_1420407094070And... some of the ladies at the shop collaborated on a KAL - A Year of Washcloths. It's sure to be great fun with a new washcloth design each month selected by one of the shop knitters - anyone can join the fun over on our Ravelry thread here. Mr. Yarnista even got his own Raverly account because he was challenged by one of the shop knitters - he's BigMikeMike and you should add him to your Ravelry friends.

I've been under the weather for the last few days, but today I started feeling better (thanks to 12 hours of sleep last night) and this morning I was able to spend some time in the kitchen. Back in November, the lovely and talented Julie Asselin posted a recipe for her Apple Pecan Cobbler. As luck would have it, our last CSA delivery included some gorgeous apples, but things got busy and I didn't get to make it. Thankfully the apples held out long enough and this morning we had Apple Pecan Cobbler for breakfast...


Of course, everything is better with fresh whipped cream...

APCI did leave the skins on the apples and adapted for a gluten-free version with GF oats and substituting GF flour, otherwise I followed Julie's recipe exactly and it was SO delicious!

Speaking of delicious... remember this?

Pho AY

Last winter I made Vietnamese Pho broth from scratch and made a huge batch to freeze leftovers. Tonight, we're enjoying the fruits of that day's labor for supper and I can't wait!


PS - If you're waiting for my new Knitalong, stay tuned... I'll be posting in the VERY near future!

In the Kitchen | Pickles, Curd and more...

Last weekend when I finally started feeling like myself again, I *might* have gone a little off the deep end in the kitchen. Really, I couldn't help it. I was sick and didn't feel like myself for a month and spent about half of it without an appetite. I didn't get my needed relaxing time in the kitchen, but last weekend, I made up for it... First, Marisa of the fabulous Food In Jars blog posted a recipe for Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Curd on March 5th and I had hubby get lemons for me so I could make it the following weekend, then I came down with that bear of a cold. While I was out of commission, I literally had dreams about this stuff - seriously, my mouth waters just thinking about it. So, this was on my kitchen 'to make' list last Sunday and I have to say, it is divine! A little bit of patience and time is a small price to pay for the end result of a perfectly balanced tart and sweet lemon curd. Yum!!!IMG_20140412_143201Then, not wanting to waste the egg whites from the lemon curd, I had the brilliant idea to make some lightly sweetened coconut macaroons. As they were baking, I dug around and found some dark chocolate bars to melt and drizzle on. These also were DELICIOUS! In my usual fashion, I made these up as I went along since I wanted a VERY low sugar recipe. I'll keep track next time and I can type it up.

IMG_20140412_143004Next, I started a batch of homemade yogurt - I've been doing this for a couple years now and I love it! The texture and taste is so much better than store bought.


And then I took a break to spend some time with my new sewing machine (more on that in an upcoming post).


After sewing success, it was time for supper and I had another Food In Jars recipe that I had to make. Marisa had been taunting me with her Instagram photos of some Spicy Quick Pickled Cucumbers on a salad with lentils and avocado. Again, as soon as I saw these, I knew I had to make them. They are delicious and I've had them 3 times this week!!!

IMG_20140410_201312Then, I while I was letting the cucumbers mingle with the flavor a bit, I started a batch of Homemade Kimchi - also from Food In Jars (have you noticed a theme here?). It's been cool in our house so it's taking a bit longer to ferment, but after setting for a few days, I think it's ready to pop into the fridge to enjoy. I can't wait to try it!


It's time for another weekend, I don't have any crazy kitchen plans like last weekend. Regardless, I'm sure I'll find something to whip up.

What's on your 'to cook' list for the weekend or have you made something fabulous lately? I'd love to hear about it!

Happy weekend and CHEERS!