Refried Beans

This is a fun way to give a flavor kick to plain old beans.

Chili, lime, and fresh herbs bring the party to refried beans, which you can use in burritos, tacos, or enjoy on their own with some rice and veggies.

They’re very easy to make for a lively meal!


  • 4 cups kidney or pinto beans (2 cans drained and rinsed, or cooked from dry beans)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (cilantro or a mix of sage, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme – whatever herbs you like best)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a medium or large pan over medium heat, then add the onions. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

Mix in the beans and water. Cover the pot and let them simmer for about 5 minutes to combine all the flavors.

Remove the lid and use a potato masher or fork to mash up about half of the beans. Stir and cook for 3-5 more minutes until it reaches your desired texture – I like them not too saucy but not too dry.

Add in the lime juice, taste for salt and pepper, and add a bit more water if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!


Today’s insight comes from a thought I had at ecstatic dance.

If you want to keep a feeling of ease and flow in your body, just don’t fight what life gives you.

When we fight reality, we suffer.

When we don’t fight it, it can become easy and flowing.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

One response to “Refried Beans”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    So zingy and bright!

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