One of the meals I decided to try this week was "Pintos & Cornbread", but I was planning to be gone most of the day Thurs (the night I had this meal scheduled), so I went hunting for a crockpot version of pinto beans, and then tweaked it (because it called for lard or bacon fat & we're vegetarian), here's what I came up with:
16 oz pinto beans, picked over, soaked overnight & drained
2 T butter (not sure if we really needed this, I might leave it out, or at least cut it back next time)
1 or 2 (I don't remember) T baco bits
1 sm onion, chopped
1 Tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano
Combine all with 3 c water in crockpot. Cook on high 3 hrs, turn to low & cook the rest of the day. Season with salt to taste.
Now, my day didn't go exactly as planned. I put it in the crockpot, turned it on high, set the kitchen timer for 3 hrs, and left for the day, leaving dh with the instruction to turn it to low when the timer went off. I was planning to be home by 6:00 or so, to check on it, turn it back to high if needed, or off if needed, make the corn bread & serve dinner, but we got to my friend Angie's house & she invited us to stay for supper, so I called dh, told him to see if the beans seemed done & if so, turn off the crockpot (and have some if he wanted) and the girls & I stayed at Angie's till bedtime. I got home around 10pm & found the beans STILL on low, so they were well cooked (though you can't really over-cook pintos, I don't think). I let them cool & put them in the fridge, then made the corn bread & re-heated the pintos in the microwave (just put each person's plate in the microwave) for supper tonight. I made a point of calling these "pintos" not "beans" since the girls claim to not like beans & served up each plate, by putting a big serving of pintos on their plate (heating them in the microwave, then topping the beans with some shredded cheese & sour cream, and put a piece of corn bread on the plate as well. Everyone declared it a keeper, L said it was "even better than Shepherd's Pie" which is high praise from her at the moment. DH really liked the added flavor the baco bits gave it. The girls each ate 2 platefuls.