Pinto beans with spinach

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
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 persons worth
  • ½ pack pinto beans (~250g)
  • Water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tsp ghee or oil
  • 10cm 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
  • ~1tsp of rock salt (to taste)
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Add the spinach/tomato mix to the cooked beans, heat for a few more mins. Done.
  5. Serve with rice (I do brown rice so there is a full complement of protein in the meal).


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