Refried bean, minus the fried part.

It’s a week of kiddo-favorite vegan meals over here, and since we are gluten-free also, it shouldn’t be too surprising that we are already having some form of beans.  Today I tried making my version of a quesadilla recipe that I believe I originally got from one of Rip Esselstyn’s cookbooks (he’s Dr. Esselstyn’s son, and like is father promotes plant-based eating to help you keep healthy).  The recipe requires tortillas, which I cooked indoors, as well as a mix to go in the middle, which I wasn’t brave enough to try outside just yet.  Instead, I just made the refried bean part in the solar oven.  It turns out, it’s just as easy as it is indoors!

To make refried beans outdoors:

Start with cooked pinto beans, add extra water, and cook them in a thick, dark pot the way you would in a slow cooker.  I put about 1 cup of pinto beans, 1 tsp cumin, and some salt in my cast iron cookware, and then added about a 1/2 cup of water and put the lid on it and put it in the Sun Oven.  I left it out in the solar oven for about 4 hours, and then brought it in.  All I had to do then was to mash it up with a potato masher and voila! – you have refried beans that you didn’t have to fry at all.  I would have posted a picture, but refried beans just do not look appealing from any camera angle.

I had a little extra time, so I did try using my glass cookware to cook the sweet potato outside as well.  I punched holes in it (just in case!) and put it in a glass pan with a lid at lunchtime (after the beans were done) and left it there for 2 hours.  It softened up nicely and saved me having to microwave all the nutrients out of it!  I suspect I could have tried stacking the two pots in the oven if there had been room, but I’m not sure they would both fit.

The rest of the recipe, if you are curious, is as follows:

Put 1 cup salsa, 1 cup spinach, and 1 cooked sweet potato in the food processor and blend until smooth.  Heat in saucepan with 1 cup refried beans and 1 cup black beans until warm.  Spoon the mixture between two gluten-free corn tortillas and heat in a skillet.  The mixture also makes good chip dip, if you are not feeling like cooking indoors at all.  Next time, I’ll try making the quesadilla mixture outside 🙂

Rating: Success! I think it may be time to get more adventurous 🙂