Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Frijoles Rancheros {Meatless Monday}

I’m pretty good at tweaking recipes to make them lower in salt, sugar or fat, and I my holiday meals are no exception.  So it’s not that we ate lots of unhealthy food all weekend, but we did eat lots more food in general.  What’s Thanksgiving weekend without lots of leftovers, right?  Well, we just polished off the last of the turkey and stuffing last night, and I have never been so happy to see Meatless Monday.  I need some clean eating!

In case you aren’t familiar, here’s a bit of history.  Meatless Monday is not the product of a big chain natural foods store, or PETA.  It was originally started way back during World War I, as a way of voluntarily rationing food, and reducing consumption of key staples to help the war effort. The United States Food Administration coined the terms “Meatless Monday and “Wheatless Wednesday” to remind Americans to reduce intake of those products.

Meatless Monday was resurrected in 2003, as a national health awareness program, and has since gone global, with the focus on health benefits of vegetarian eating, as well as the reduced environmental impact of skipping meat based meals at least once per week.  There are so many benefits of eating more of a plant-based diet, but just between you and me, one of the things I love best is that I get to be a little more creative in the kitchen.  No more boring meat, potato and vegetable meals here!  For me, it means an explosion of fresh flavors and textures and new ways to combine vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and grains.  So are you onboard the Meatless Monday movement yet?  If not, here comes the bandwagon, jump on!


Frijoles Rancheros|Craving Something Healthy

Frijoles Rancheros (Mexican ranch style beans) is usually made with ham or chorizo sausage.  Look for the vegan chorizo at Trader Joe’s or the natural foods section of your grocery store.


Frijoles Rancheros {Meatless Monday}

Yield: 6-8 servings

Frijoles Rancheros {Meatless Monday}


  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz vegetarian or vegan chorizo
  • 2-15 oz cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • corn tortillas
  • Cotija cheese, or shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • chopped avocado, optional


In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat, and cook onion, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes, or until tender.

Add veggie chorizo, and stir well to break apart. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until heated through.

Using a potato masher, mash about half the beans, and leave the remainder whole.

Add beans, broth, and tomato to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

While beans are simmering, heat oven broiler.

Spray corn tortillas on both side with cooking spray, and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Lay tortillas on a baking pan, and place pan under the broiler until tortillas start to puff and brown around the edges. Flip tortillas and broil the other side.

When bean mixture is thickened, add lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Serve frijoles with toasted tortillas, avocado, and a sprinkle of cheese, if desired.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 569mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 4g
Protein 14g 28%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition information does not include added cheese, avocado, or tortillas.


If you need more Meatless Monday’s inspiration, check my Pinterest boards!

Eat well!

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