Q. Refried beans are available everywhere and show up quite often in food baskets given out by food banks but if you don't have any experience with them what do you do with them besides eat & eat?
A. Think of refried beans as a soggy form of meat and they are a little easier to imagine cooking with.
Falafel is really just ground cooked beans with spices, herbs and vegetables added.
I make a very passable version of falafel using refried beans instead of the traditional chick peas.
1 can(15 ounces) Refried Beans
1-2 slices of dryish bread, grated into bread crumbs
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1/2 flour(or cold left over rice)
powdered garlic, other seasoning to taste.
Mix everything together into a thick batter. Drop by teaspoon into a medium hot frying pan with oil. Fry until lightly browned, turn over, flatten with a spoon or spatula, brown again. Turn over and brown the top side again. This little extra cooking allows the onions to cook.
Serve these silver dollar sized bites with ranch dressing, mustard or ketchup. Or make some homemade tortillias and wrap them around the bean bites with whatever veggies or rice you may have.
Make a batch of Traditional Falafel and divide in half. Mix 1 cup of ground turkey with 1/2 of the falafel and then form into balls, fry and add to spaghetti sauce for spaghetti & meatballs.
Sautee 1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms and add them to a batch of falafel, then fry as usual.
Crumble a batch of falafel into a frying pan and brown well in place of the hamburger in Hamburger Helper.
Form your falafel ball around a cube of cheese and fry as usual.