P1040237This simple yet tasty meal is just one way to increase pulses in your diet.  This is my eldest son’s favourite meal, which came as a bit of a surprise!  For reducing pitta, use the leek rather than the garlic.

Pinto beans with spinach

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main
Servings 6 persons worth


  • ½ pack (250g) pinto beans
  • Water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tsp ghee or oil
  • 10 cm leek finely chopped or 2-3 cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger important to reduce wind!
  • A few large handfuls of fresh spinach or 3 big lumps frozen chopped spinach
  • A few chopped tomatoes or equivalent tomato puree
  • 1 tsp rock salt to taste


  • Soak pinto beans overnight, discard water. (You can do this without soaking the beans but it takes much longer to cook them and also not as good for you).
  • Add pinto beans to saucepan, add water to cover beans by about 4 cm. Add bay leaves. Boil with well-fitting lid for about 1hr until beans are nice and soft. I use a pressure cooker which makes this part very easy, just put on low heat and leave for 45mins while doing something else. I usually do this at lunch time while I am doing other things around the kitchen you’re not tied to the kitchen just for the beans.
  • In a separate frying pan/saucepan, heat ghee/oil, add garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two. Add, tomatoes and salt. Cook for about 10mins, adding a little water if it gets too thick and dry. If using fresh spinach, you may want to blend this mixture (makes it more appealing for children).
  • Add the spinach/tomato mix to the cooked beans, heat for a few more mins. Done.
  • Serve with rice (I do brown rice so there is a full complement of protein in the meal).

1 Comment

Pulses – the best kept protein secret - · July 8, 2015 at 12:32

[…] Pinto beans & spinach with brown rice […]

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