Cowboy Charro Beans

I swear getting older sucks. Not that I’m concerned about being someone I was twenty years ago, but I don’t want to relegate myself to giving up. I gained around fifteen pounds over the last year from a combination of stress, hormones and new medication. I’m not happy about it. Now that I am in my mid-forties, the weight is not budging much. I’ve be trying to shock my system with new types of exercise. I’m not going to let the hormones win. I took up running last November and haven’t looked back. I was on the treadmill because it was getting too cold to run outside. Tony said if I could run outside I could get better results. He was right. I haven’t lost any weight yet because I also am doing a new weight routine, but I seem to be getting better. I can feel it in my clothes. They key is to change something if what you are doing no longer works. My previous regime worked for over three years. Now it doesn’t. Time to change. Now on to the recipe.

I couldn’t help but make another bean recipe this week. The recipe from Pati Jinich for Cowboy Charro Beans. I chose this recipe because it looked really tasty and because I know I can make it just as tasty and a healthier version. The original recipe has bacon AND chorizo. Both are really good, but they are also really fatty and not to mention calories bombs. I know we can use lower sodium bacon. I’ve also made my own low sodium chorizo. I’m going to also cook my own beans in my instant pot to use for the recipe. If you go with canned, use a low sodium variety. I like the instant pot because I can control the salt.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I replaced the tomato with pumpkin puree to increase the vitamin A and remove the tomato.
  • I replaced the cooked beans with dry beans that will be cooked as part of the recipe.
  • I replaced the chorizo with ground turkey chorizo to lower the sodium.
  • I replace the bacon with lower sodium bacon to lower the sodium.
  • I added red bell pepper and carrot to increase the vitamin A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 13 to lower the calories.
  • I added brown rice to make the meal more complete.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Cowboy Charro Beans

Serves 13

  • 6 ounces sliced uncooked low sodium bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped more or less to taste, seeded if desired
  • 1 2/3 cups dry pinto beans
  • 4 cups of water
  • 6 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped

Ground Turkey Chorizo

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Place turkey, vinegar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Mix well using your hands.
  2. Place the beans and the water in an instant pot. Cook on high for 35 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release.
  3. Remove the beans from the pot.
  4. Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is lightly browned and starting to crisp. Add the chorizo; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts to brown and crisp. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it into smaller pieces.
  5. Add the chopped onion, carrot, red bell pepper and jalapeño; mix well and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, letting them soften a bit. Add the pumpkin and mix well; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.
  6. Add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid; mix well and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the beans are moist but not soupy. Add a bit more water if needed. Taste, and add more salt to your taste. Serve hot.

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