Spicy Vegan Refried Beans

Spicy Vegan Refried Beans


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, one split in half, one chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (about 1 tablespoon, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (optional)


  1. Place beans in a large bowl and add 1 gallon water. Stir in two tablespoons kosher salt. Set aside at room temperature and let rest overnight. The next day, drain and rinse beans. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Add bay leaf, split onion, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until beans are completely tender and skins are loose, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard onion and bay leaves. Drain beans, reserving liquid. (See note above for pressure cooker or canned bean variations).
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add beans and chipotle (if using) and cook, folding with a wooden spoon until homogenous. Add 2 cups of reserved bean liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached, adding extra cooking liquid as necessary to loosen to desired texture. If smoother texture is required, use a hand blender or a food processor to process beans to desired texture. Season with salt to taste. Serve. Uneaten beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


“You are my SHERO!”….and so are you!

Hi everyone!!!

With the movie premiere of Unsupersize Me quickly approaching, there has a whirlwind of things to get done before hand. If you haven’t already checked out the trailer, do so here!!! Carly Asse’s vision is extraordinary and it was a pleasure to be a part of it!

Personally I’m in my last 8 weeks of graduate studies, I’m busy at work preparing holiday party catering, working out to look great for the premiere (with the help of the Zen Fitness crew!), and I’m also trying to do that thing…….what’s it called??….oh yeah..have a social life too! haha. So needless to say I’ve been a busy little worker bee. It’s so easy when we get busy to get tunnel vision and concentrate just on how hectic our personal lives can be and not take a look at the big picture. Yesterday I had an amazing moment that really cleared my mind and made me take a giant step back to realize that I’m extremely lucky to be where I am in my new life.

After leaving a kick butt training session at Zen Fitness yesterday, I went to take a spin class (my new addiction) for some cardio. On my drive there, I glance at my email on my phone (don’t lecture me about using my phone in my car…i get it!). 52 unread messages! Great! Oh well…I need some cardio! I head into the gym, in a hurry, stressed and generally not in a good mood. We all have bad days right! Then in the main lobby of the gym, a woman runs up to me and says with grand excitement “Oh my god, are you Tracy?!?!?” I replied “yes”, somewhat taken aback by excited this women was to see me. And that is when she said the words that will replay over and over in my head, every time I have a bad day “You are my Shero!”. I could tell from her beautiful smile that “shero” was a good thing. Later I looked it up and the Urban Dictionary explained that a Shero is a female hero (definitely sounds hipper than heroine!). The women continued to tell me that has watched every video from Zen Fitness and follows my blog (shout out to you!!!).

I was so surprised that someone I never met before, could recognize me sweaty, in gym clothes, a hat, and in a bad demeanor. She has no idea how much she brightened by day and she motivated me to dredge through an hour of spin class and continue on my long day. I could only wish that everyone had one of these people to follow them around every day!! But then again why don’t we all take  a stance now, to be each others cheerleaders. Everyone has bad days and we all need a little pick me up. Take a moment today to tell someone who they rock, motivate you, or are just awesome! You never know how it will affect them!