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quick and easy beans 5

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The weather is glorious. Nature’s colors are beautiful. Our family schedule slows down a little. And the comfort food brought on by the change of seasons is pretty great, too. One of my favorite dishes to make this time of year is spicy pinto beans. They’re quick & easy, healthy and – best of all – everyone in my family loves them. No whining at the dinner table is a small happy moment in our often chaotic home. The recipe requires only three ingredients (!) and very little prep. I thought I’d share it with you.

quick & easy beans 1

SPICY PINTO BEANS

3 cans of 15 oz. organic pinto beans, preferably BPA free (We like Trader Joe’s brand.)

5 slices of bacon, preferably nitrite free

3 T. McIlhenny tabasco chipotle pepper sauce (more or less to taste…I would say this recipe is at a mild-medium spice level.)

Pour beans (undrained, not rinsed) into medium sauce pan. Cut bacon into 1″ pieces. (I use kitchen shears.) Add bacon pieces and 3 T. pepper sauce to beans. Stir to mix then simmer on low heat for 25 minutes or until bacon is cooked through. Serve with cornbread. (Again, we like Trader Joe’s brand.) Makes 4-5 servings.

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Super simple, right? Steve and I are always surprised by how good these beans are. They definitely taste like they’re more work. Sometimes it’s nice to have a “don’t have to think about it” meal lined up for crazy days or for evenings when you’d rather spend more time playing with the kids and less time prepping in the kitchen. Not to mention, this meal is easy on the wallet.

Steve follows a paleo diet most of the time. I was so bummed the first time I made this dish (sans cornbread) and he informed me that legumes were not on his paleo menu. Seriously?! They’re beans! I told him if he was going to follow a caveman’s diet I would prescribe to a cavewoman’s personal hygiene routine. He eats the beans, folks. #cheatmeal

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Anyway.

Like I said, this is a spicy dish (if you want it to be). You will need some fresh water on hand to quell your thirst. Luckily, the kind people at Soma sent us one of their water carafes to try. It’s a smart setup – a functional water filter and a beautiful carafe in one. You guys, we made it through an entire meal without anyone whining OR getting up from the table to refill their glass. I didn’t know what to do with myself so I ATE MY ENTIRE MEAL IN ONE SITTING WITHOUT REPRIMANDING ANYONE.

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Back to Soma for a minute. The sustainable carafe features shatterproof glass, BPA-free plastic and an appealing hourglass silhouette. It can hold up to six 8 oz. glasses of water and is right-sized to fit your hand, sink and fridge. The biodegradable filter is made of coconut shells and reduces the amount of chlorine, lead, selenium and arsenic in tap water. You can opt to have a new filter sent to your doorstop every sixty days and each filter bought provides a donation to charity : water, an organization that helps to bring clean water to families across the globe. It’s beauty meets brains meets philanthropy. I call it the beauty queen of water filters and you can learn more about it here.

Our fridge features a built-in water filter / dispenser but it’s sometimes cumbersome (sometimes impossible) to fill large containers. The carafe is nice for said containers, entertaining and the *rare* uninterrupted family dinner. I wish we had owned one when we were living in our interim apartment during renovations. Instead, we used a bulky pitcher-like filter that hogged fridge space. The Soma carafe is a great idea for renters. I’m looking forward to busting it out over the holidays when we have guests. Refilling Cheetah’s water bowl is a cinch with the Soma. (Who knew cats are water snobs? Not me.) And I’ve been using it to fill my kettle in the morning when I brew my coffee Chemex-style. It’s much easier than wrangling the kettle into position under the fridge’s small water dispenser.

Do you use a water filter? Either in your fridge or at the faucet? We always have. Filtered water is the drink of choice in our home. I don’t buy pop / soda, juices or bottled water. If you’re interested in Soma, H*T readers will receive $15 off the first 50 purchases made by entering the discount code “HT15OFF”.

*This post was sponsored in part by Soma. All original content, imagery and opinions are my own. If you don’t care for the carafe, I hope you still enjoy the recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

41 Comments

01.October.2014

We love the Trader Joe’s cornbread mix too – have you tried replacing the oil with applesauce? Just use the same quantity of applesauce to replace what is called for oil – it’s delicious!

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replied on October 1st, 2014

Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

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replied on October 1st, 2014

I am going to try that substitution! That sounds awesome, thank you for sharing.

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01.October.2014

I went to college with the founder of Soma! It’s a great product and a wonderful company!! So happy to see it on one of my favorite blogs.

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replied on October 1st, 2014

Small world!

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01.October.2014

Hi,
Just wondering how long that $15 coupon will last. I want to buy it, but I’m going out of town for about a week and don’t want to get it before I get home.
Thanks!

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replied on October 1st, 2014

The discount code is available for the first 50 purchases made via the link. Thanks for asking…I updated the post with that information, too.

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01.October.2014

I make veg chilli and my kids love it, similar to your recipe but with more vegs. Can I ask where you got the plate + bowl combo? I would love to get it for my 2 kids. We use divided plates but this is perfect for soup and sandwich days.

Thank you
Meg

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replied on October 1st, 2014

The soup and sandwich trays are from Uncommon Goods.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/soup-and-sandwich-ceramic-tray-duo

They had been on my wish list for a while and my in-laws gifted them to me last year. Love them!!

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01.October.2014

We we definitely be trying that recipe. Beans are one of the few things both my kids will eat with minimal whining and I love that they’re so healthy. We don’t use a water filter here in northwest Washington. The water here is so delicious I honestly miss it whenever we travel out of the area.

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01.October.2014

I just ordered the Carafe. I live in an old building and I don’t trust the plumbing. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. BTW: I forgot to use the discount code, but when I emailed the company afterwards, they got back to me right away and happily applied the code after the fact. Thanks for the recommendation!

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replied on October 1st, 2014

So glad you were able to score the discount!

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01.October.2014

It’s too bad the filter remove Selenium. While most people can get enough selenium through food, it depends where the food was grown/raised. In areas without much selenium in the soil you can have issue with selenium deficiencies in the food you eat.

It’s also very important for anyone with thyroid issues to have adequate selenium in their diets through food/water and supplements as selenium is essential for proper growth/development, immune function, metabolism (thyroid function), aids in the normalization of testosterone and estrogen and aids in the removal of lipids. Low selenium is also linked to those with depression and mood disorders.

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/selenium/

Because I am hypothyroid/a few other issues, as beautiful as the product is, I personally wouldn’t buy one

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replied on October 1st, 2014

Thank you for commenting and sharing this information, Brooke. Sending nothing but healthy thoughts your way!

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01.October.2014

I’ve never had pinto beans before, but anything with bacon in it has to be amazing, right? These look delicious!

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01.October.2014

THAT SILVERWARE! Look delicious :)

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01.October.2014

I am paleo as well and eat beans occasionally. We soak them for 24 hours, rinse well and cook for a few hours. Discard the water. Make a big batch, they freeze well!

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01.October.2014

Beans are a part of out meals on a weekly basis but I usually just throw a few handfuls in the crockpot, add a little salt and maybe a half onion if I’m feeling fancy and consider it done. In mexican cooking, we actually also serve it with the “broth” it creates and it’s delicious. I will totally throw some bacon in the crock pot next time though!

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01.October.2014

I love your oil and vinegar containers, would you be willing to share where you found them?

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replied on October 1st, 2014

Of course!

The vinegar cruet is here and the oil cruet is here. After going through several dispensers that leaked, didn’t pour well or became clogged…I can honestly say these are THE BEST cruets I’ve ever encountered. I’ve even given them as gifts and everyone loves them!

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01.October.2014

Thanks for the discount code! My daughter is so picky about her water and she loves her Chemex coffee pot so I think she is going to love this! I ordered it and sent it to her at college for her birthday gift. I will be trying these beans too…they look delicious!

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01.October.2014

Where is that gorgeous light fixture from?!

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replied on October 1st, 2014

It’s the Hoyne pendant from Crate and Barrel.

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Fall = soccer season round these parts, which means quick and easy meals are I high demand nowadays. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Trader Joes is just around the corner now. Ill have to give this a try. I am a southern girl though, so that means cornbread is def homemade:) Also that’s one fab carafe. We use the water filter on the fridge for drinking. And also have a Pur pitcher for water and well.

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01.October.2014

Mmm pinto beans. We eat ours as “soup beans” meaning we put a whole bag of dry pinto beans in a crockpot in the morning with water – let them cook all day – then an hour before dinner, put them on the stove with more water, some salt and oil to a rolling boil. Eat with cornbread of course! It’s much soupier because of all the water you add, but it’s so delicious when you crumble cornbread into it. Think I’ll have to make some tomorrow – thanks for the inspiration! :)

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01.October.2014

This is basically what I would LIKE to serve for dinner, but since 2 out of 3 kids won’t eat the beans, 1 out of 2 won’t eat cornbread, all 3 kids (and hubby) like meat, 0 out of 3 kids like bacon, and I have to have veggies to make it a meal, we will probably have a side of vegetarian beans, mini-meatloaves, cornbread, carrots, and a salad. If it were just me, I would do the beans with a bunch of veggies thrown in. Sigh. It would be great if I could do meals this easily!

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01.October.2014

I’m lusting after your wonderfully clean and organized fridge!! And the beans look awesome too.

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01.October.2014

I’m a huge fan of your blog and follow/reference it often – so I was very excited to see you featured on a Yahoo article I read tonight — congrats!! :)

https://homes.yahoo.com/news/5-of-the-internet-s-best-before-and-afters-172245174.html

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replied on October 1st, 2014

Whoa, cool. Thanks for keeping me in the loop ;)

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01.October.2014

Oooh, we are going to have to try those beans!

Chris, I thought my child was the only strange one who declared she hated cornbread (after eating it happily until age 5 or so). Sigh. Who doesn’t like cornbread? We eat it New England style– with butter and maple syrup. Yum.

Anyway, must try those beans.

PS- the table looks awesome.

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02.October.2014

FYI, When eating spicy food, drinking water makes it worse. You should drink milk to lessen the burn. Bread helps too.
I love your house & design.

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02.October.2014

My cat is a water snob too! I thought I was the only one. He does this thing now where he will sit in front of his water bowl and look at me until I give him fresh water. My husband said he is training me….

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02.October.2014

BAHAHAHA! Your retort about prescribing to a cavewoman’s personal hygiene routine made me LOL! My husband is also mostly paleo/crossfit fanatic and announced his conversion when I was 10 weeks pregnant (daughter is Mabrey’s age) and craving anything but meat and veggies. I wish I had your wit! Love your blog.

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Love the design of that carafe (would look great next to my Chemex!) and the company’s philosophy. Thanks for sharing.

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03.October.2014

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but did you use the 7.5-inch or the 11-inch brackets? Because you have plates on them I’m assuming you used the 11-inch? And did you use 1×12 reclaimed wood and “rip” them down to 11-inches in order to fit them in the brackets? Any pointers for me (eh hem – my husband) would be appreciated! I’ve got a guy allowing me to come rummage through his reclaimed wood (yay – insert heart melt) so that I (my husband) can make similar shelves in my kitchen over our bar cart. Thank you!! PS – Loved the IKEA cabinet article. You did your homework and we appreciate that. My husband seriously wants to install IKEA cabinets in our kitchen and your article was pretty convincing for me to agree.

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replied on October 3rd, 2014

They are the 11″ brackets. We used old fence boards from Steve’s family farm back in Pennsylvania (now sold). To get the 11″ depth, there are two fence boards side-by-side (one in front, one in back) for each shelf. The boards are more like 1 and 1/8″ thick and warped. We had to “shave” the ends to get them to fit properly into the brackets. I had another reader contact me about finding wood to fit the brackets. She was able to use stair tread wood from a home improvement store to fit! Hope that helps.

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03.October.2014

Hi! If you don’t mind asking, where did you get your mixing bowl/pot that’s the stove? I’m assuming it’s a mixing bowl and love the idea of doubling it as a pot!

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replied on October 3rd, 2014

Do you mean the little white and indigo pot with lid? If so, it’s vintage and I found it on etsy. I was looking for something small but special to keep garlic bulbs in next to the stove. I don’t think it’s meant to be used stovetop but isn’t it adorable?! I couldn’t pass it up.

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replied on October 3rd, 2014

Those are cute! But I meant the pot that is ON the stove with the pinto beans in it.. :)

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replied on October 4th, 2014

Oh, duh. It’s from Ikea! (My brain is fried. It must be Friday.)

23.October.2014

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