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Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans


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Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

Easy Refried Beans made in a Crock pot or slow cooker

Are you looking for the  BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans?

Not those flavorless, bland refried beans, like some canned ones, or those made with tons of lard.

These have really great depth of flavor, and the BEST part….

My easy Best Refried Beans creation are made in the crock pot!

I mean what can be easier than that?

And the result -every time I serve these BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans, I get rave reviews and so will you! 

I have easy to follow picture tutorials so you can easily make these BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans yourself and I’ll also tell you the trick to freezing them perfectly.

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Ingredients:

1 lb. dry pinto beans (1 1/2 – 1 2/3 cup), rinsed, remove any shriveled beans or stones  

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large yellow (best flavor for long cooking) onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2 Tablespoon garlic, chopped or minced

1 jalapeno or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped (adds flavor, not heat)  

—-

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder. However Chipotle adds a wonderful smoky flavor)

4 Tablespoon real butter (don’t skimp here!)

1 to 1  1/2  teaspoon chicken bouillon, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning 

 

Directions:

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

The night before  rinsed the beans in a colander, checking for  stones or shriveled beans.

Let sit large bowl and cover with at least 5 inches of water.

Let them soak overnight, or at least for 8 hours.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

This is an important step.  

Why?

Because by soaking the beans and then rinsing them very well with water before proceeding; this cuts down dramatically on the gastrointestinal issues (aka gas) produced by beans.

After soaking the beans overnight, rinse them in a colander over and over with water a few times.

Pour the soaked and rinsed beans into a crock pot.

 

Next step

Prepare a Jalapeno or an Anaheim pepper.

Using  disposable gloves is a good way to cut up the peppers because it keeps the juices/oils from the peppers off of your fingers/fingernails; which can really burn your eyes or sting your face or anywhere you touch.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Removing the seeds and membrane, which will leave the flavor, but not the heat.

In the crock pot, along with the rinsed beans, add in the salt, cut up onion, garlic and jalapeno or Anaheim pepper.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Next Step

Cover  the bean and vegetable mixture with approximately 4-5 inches of water.  

Place on the lid and set to cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.

The time of cooking will vary depending upon the age of the beans. 

Be sure to check on your beans periodically to see if more water needs to be added.

Again, this depends on your beans.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

When the beans are tender to the bite, then pour into a colander which is set INSIDE of a large bowl and drain to reserve the bean juice. 

Or scoop out the liquid with a spoon and save.  ***VERY IMPORTANT STEP  You want to SAVE the liquid the beans have been cooked in!!!

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Next Step

  • Place the drained bean mixture into a food processor. 
  • A blender will make a very smooth bean, whereas a food processor will allow you to make the beans with texture if desired.
  • If you prefer really chunky re-fried beans, use a potato masher instead of a food processor.

Add in the ½ tsp. salt, vinegar, cumin, chipotle chili powder, REAL butter, bouillon and Montreal steak seasoning.  (I like to 1 1/2 times the seasonings, but then I love a punch of flavor.  I recommend making as directed in the recipe though the first time, and then adjusting to your taste.)

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Give it a whirl, then add in a bit of the reserved bean juice; just a small amount at a time until the texture is the way you prefer.

Serve warm.

TIP:  Refried beans freeze very well.

Soon into freezer baggies or containers when cooled and place in freezer.

SAVE some of the bean juice and  freeze in a separate freezer baggie or container.

When thawing the beans, also thaw bean juice and add to beans if they seem dry after freezing. They will taste like the day you make them – or better since the flavors have had time to marry.  ENJOY!

Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

Easy Refried Beans made in a Crock pot or slow cooker

Carrie’s recipe copyright 2016, 2018
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A tortilla with crisp romaine lettuce, bbq seasoned shrimp, mango salsa wrapped up

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa

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A tortilla with crisp romaine lettuce, bbq seasoned shrimp, mango salsa wrapped up

A Caribbean Jerk seasoned shrimp with a sweet and savory mango salsa

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa

 

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa is one of my favorite summer-time meals! 

I love the Caribbean Jerk seasoning on the barbecued shrimp; what flavor.

Wrap it up in a tortilla with crunchy romaine lettuce, some really good brand sweet and savory mango salsa and it takes this to gourmet 5-Star level.  

You’d never guess it’s a healthy dish because it tastes that good.

If you want to try another shrimp recipe, another favorite is this Sassy Orange Grilled Shrimp.

Enjoy!




Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa

Ingredients for Shrimp Marinade:

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and remove tail

3 Tbl. oil, your choice of vegetable or olive

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 Tbl. + 1/2 tsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Caribbean Jerk Seasoning

Wood or metal skewers

 

Directions for the Shrimp Marinade:

If using wood skewers, place them in a baking dish full of water to soak for 30 -60 minutes, to help prevent them burning while grilling.Shrimp Wrap 1Combine the oil, brown sugar and McCormick Caribbean Jerk Seasoning in a bowl and stir well.Shrimp Wrap 2Add in the shrimp and gently fold in until completely covered.Shrimp Wrap 3Cover with plastic wrap or a lid if the bowl has one.Shrimp Wrap 4Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.

When the shrimp is ready, thread onto the skewers.

Place onto a prepared medium-hot grill.

Cook on one side for 3-5 minutes; or until pink.Shrimp Wrap 5Turn and cook until cooked through and pink.Shrimp Wrap 6Allow to cool slightly and push off skewer; you are now ready for recipe below.




Ingredients for Shrimp Wrap & Mango Salsa:

Grilled shrimp Mango salsa, purchased or homemade (I used purchased from Costco for ease and I really like that brand)

Large tortilla wraps

Romaine lettuce, chopped into large bite sized pieces, washed well, dried (I used my salad spinner)

 

Directions for Shrimp Wrap & Mango Salsa:

Place a large tortilla down on a plate or cutting board.

Lay a good amount of lettuce down off the center slightly.Shrimp Wrap 7Spoon desired amount of pre-made Mango Salsa on top of the lettuce.

Lay grilled Shrimp on top of the salsa.Shrimp Wrap 8Wrap up and tuck like a burrito.Shrimp Wrap 9Cut and serve.Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango SalsaCarrie’s original recipe.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

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A large bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits, grapes, kiwi, bananas and mandarin oranges. A citrus glaze is poured over top and tossed in gently.

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

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A large bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits, grapes, kiwi, bananas and mandarin oranges. A citrus glaze is poured over top and tossed in gently.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

Have you wondered how to keep a fruit salad fresh, including the bananas? This Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad is the answer!

Are you looking for a healthy fresh fruit salad dressing that is fabulous to make ahead for a party or a crowd? Yep! This fruit salad is the one!

Why is this Easy Fresh Fruit Salad perfect?

Well, to being, it has a light syrup glaze which compliments the fruit, but doesn’t overpower it.

The unique citrus syrup or dressing, glazes the fruit, which brightens and enhances the natural flavors. 

I love how easy this comes together, and it screams summer!  

It’s a great dish for for entertaining, to take to an outdoor concert and serve in nicer paper products, or for healthier eating with your family and they will think you are giving them a gourmet delight:)

MORE Fresh Fruit Salads

If you are looking for another simple delicious fruit salad, you might like this one.  It’s made with a little different twist on the fruit, and the sauce or syrup is an orange base instead of a lime.  It’s equally good.  You can see it HERE

Oh, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this tart with fresh fruit that my daughter introduced me to.  Danitra makes amazing food, and this one didn’t disappoint.  It begins with a really good sugar cookie type base, next is a creamy delicious filling, and then scrumptious beautiful fresh fruit arranged on top.  To make it extra special, it is finished with a delicate glaze, and it is SSOOO beautiful and tasty!!! Check it out  HERE.

If you prefer a creamy type of fruit salad this Creamy Orange Fruit Salad looks amazing.

I hope you get a change to try this Quick and Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad, and possibly the others too at your next BBQ, get-together with friends, office party, neighborhood put-luck, or family dinner; you’ll be glad you did!




Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, drained

12-16 ounces of fresh blueberries

1 pound of seedless grapes, red preferably for color

4-5 kiwis, peeled and diced

15 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained

2 bananas, sliced

 

Citrus Glaze:

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp. lime zest 

1 Tbl. fresh lime juice

 




Directions:

Zest the lime.Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad In a mixing cup, whisk together the Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad ingredients – 

The honey, lime zest and lime juice; combine well and set aside.Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad Add all of the prepared fruit to a large lovely bowl.

Just before serving, pour the Citrus Glaze over the fruit and gently toss to coat evenly.  

Immediately serve your

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit SaladCitrus Glazed Fruit SaladAdapted slightly from Cooking Classy  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Healthy Lentil Soup

BEST Ever Lentil Soup

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Healthy Lentil Soup

Simple Healthy Lentil Soup

This soup is wonderful!   It is very economical, healthy, gluten free and easily made vegetarian.  

Serve with my Whole Wheat Muffins for a tummy pleasing meal.




BEST Ever Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

8 cups water, more if needed

2/3 cup lentils

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

1 tsp garlic powder 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

3 vegetable bouillon cubes (Knorr, or equivalent)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 Tbl. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s or seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce Splash with Texas champagne (hot sauce)

1 Tbl. dried parsley


Directions:

Do not peel carrots it retains more vitamins.

Slice them about 1/2 inch thick.  

Slice the celery about 3/4 inch thick.

Chop the onions.

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lentlil Soup 1Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or more until the lentils, vegetables and rice are tender.

Add more liquid if needed. Lentlil Soup 2Serve. 

 Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

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Guiltless Full Flavor Pizza

Guiltless Pizza

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Guiltless Full Flavor Pizza

Pizza without the guilt, but all the flavor

I love a good piece of pizza BUT I do not like all the extra calories I have to work off.

So to the rescue is this pizza and it is sssooooo GOOD! So often the ‘low fat’ versions are – well – kinda icky.  But not this pizza.

Really, you can trust me on this one.  It’s not only low in fat, less calories, it’s figure friendly too, and best of all……dum, dum, dum….it actually fills you up!

Give it a try tonight.  Oh, and by the way, this skinny version pizza that’s packed full of flavor, is so quick and easy, you will make it often – I do!




Guiltless Full Flavor Pizza

Ingredients:

Pita Bread, whole wheat or white

Your favorite pizza sauce

1 slice smoked provolone cheese per pizza or string cheese (the string cheese does NOT melt as well and was the same points in WW as the slice of smoked provolone,- I preferred the provolone)

Portabella mushrooms and 3-4 shallots; see instructions below

Spinach

Roasted Red Bell Pepper, bottled or click HERE for a recipe to easily roast your own peppers

Optional additional ingredients: 

sauteed onions, sliced olives, turkey pepperoni



Directions:

Slice mushrooms into thick slices.Guiltless Pizza 2Heat 2 Tbl. butter flavored olive oil or butter (may need a bit more if too dry to saute) over med-high in a skillet.  Add in the mushrooms and diced shallots; cook until almost tender. Guiltless Pizza 3Then add in 2 tsp. sugar and 1-2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar, to your taste.  Cook until the mushrooms are cooked through and glazed.  Set aside to use on the pizza.Guiltless Pizza 4



 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place a pita bread on baking sheet. 

Spread pizza sauce evenly over the pita.

Break up cheese slice to cover sauce.

Lay spinach leaves to cover the pizza well.Guiltless Pizza 5Spoon mushrooms over the pizza. 

Top with sliced roasted red bell pepper.Guiltless Pizza 6Bake for 8-12 minutes, just until cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through.Guiltless Pizza 7

Adapted slightly from Weight Watchers, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Salad made with Fresh Fruit

Glorious Fresh Fruit Salad

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Salad made with Fresh Fruit

Glorious Fresh Fruit Salad

Do you love the fresh fruit?  

This recipe takes the naturally sweetened fruit and sends it easing into this light and slightly tangy glaze, to skip across your taste buds, so you’ll be singing of summer, no matter what time of year it is.

It’s a great make-ahead for any gathering or family dinner.  I have the perfect recipe for you!


GLORIOUS FRESH FRUIT SALAD

Ingredients:

20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, drained

2  1/2 cups strawberries, hulled of the tops and cut into quarters

4 kiwi, peeled and quartered

2 – 11 oz. cans of mandarin oranges, drained – optional; I show them with and without in this recipe 

1 –  1  1/2 cups black berries, optional

1  1/2 cups seedless grapes

1 – 1  1/2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. grated orange zest

1 tsp. vanilla

 


Directions:

First grate the lemon zest.Glorious Fresh Fruit SaladPour the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest and brown sugar into a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.Glorious Fresh Fruit SaladTurn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened; which will be about 5 minutes.  Glorious Fresh Fruit SaladPour in the Vanilla.Glorious Fresh Fruit SaladSet this sauce aside to cool completely.

Now, put all of the prepared fruit into a beautiful bowl.  Pictured with the mandarin oranges.Glorious fresh fruit salad Mix the fruit together, very gently.  Pictured without the mandarin oranges, and instead with the optional blackberries to give you an idea of how it can be made this way.Glorious Fresh Fruit SaladPour the cooled sauce over the fruit.Glorious fresh fruit salad

Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving.  

Stir gently just before serving to redistribute the sauce over the fruit.

Serve the same day as preparing as the fruit will tend to break down. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


No guilt chips & dip

No Guilt Chips & Dip

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No guilt chips & dip

No guilt chips & dip


Sometimes ya just gotta have the crunch of a chip and the indulgence of a dip to party.  This recipe gives you the WOW factor with out the extra calories and fat.  Try different seasonings with the sour cream for a change of pace.
Yummy!!!
No Guilt Chips & Dip
Ingredients:
16 oz. of fat free sour cream
1 package of salad dressing/dip seasoning – ranch, dill, zesty ranch; your preference
Veggie Chips or Veggie Straws with Sea SaltNo guilt chips & dip 1
Directions:
In  bowl combine well the sour cream and seasoning packet of your choice.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving for best results.
Serve chips with dip.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.
 


Toasted Edamame

Toasted Flavorful Edamame

Toasted Edamame

Toasted Edamame

These little gems are immature soy beans and usually associated with Asian foods.  They are packed full of good things for your body and lots of protein, to help keep you feeling full and satisfied.  I hope you like my recipe of seasonings, then toasted until glazed. A great appetizer or snack to ward off the cravings and extra pounds.




 Toasted and Flavorful Edamame

Ingredients:

12-14 oz. shelled Edamame (in the freezer section)

3 Tbl. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. Emerills Original Seasoning

1/4 tsp. Smoked Paprika, or more to taste  




Directions: 

In a pan cook the Edamame in boiling water according to package instructions.Toasted Edamame 1Combine the cooked and drained Edamame with the rice wine vinegar, Emerill’s  and smoked paprika and stir well.Toasted Edamame 2In a large non-stick fry pan pour the Edamame mixture and fry/toast over medium to medium high heat.  Stir continually to avoid burning.Toasted Edamame 3Edamame are done when glazed with the vinegar mixture and the pan is dry and no longer wet from the vinegar.  Serve warm.

Toasted Edamame

Adapted slightly from Weight Watchers, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.