Chili Beans with Homemade Tortillas

Tips on Working With Dry Beans

Put beans in a large bowl and fill with COLD water… water amount should be three times the amount of beans measured or more.

Soak the beans overnight… you’ll see them double in size and most of the water will have been absorbed by morning.

In the morning, rinse and drain the beans three or four times till the water runs clear. This softens the beans and reduces complex sugars by 60%. Complex sugars cause gas.

Add the rinsed beans to the pot and cover them with clean filtered water. Use enough water to cover the beans and have at least one inch above the bean level.Do not use excess water, just enough to keep them from drying out during the boiling and simmering process. When checking for bean doneness, if the water level is low, add just enough to keep the beans wet toward the end of the cooking time.

Make more than you need and freeze the rest in airtight containers.

Chili Beans


  • 2 cups cooked Pinto beans (or black beans, kidney, etc.)
  • 1 yellow onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 cups of chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup assorted seasonal vegetables, chopped (corn, carrots, green peppers, squash, greens, etc.)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves

In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until translucent on medium high heat. Add chili powder. Add fresh vegetables. Add chopped parsley. Add tomatoes. Add sliced Jalapeno pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes.

Once the beans are cooked, drain them. Add the beans to the vegetables, adding another teaspoon of salt to the beans as they go in. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, tasting and adding more salt if needed to taste. Stir in cilantro leaves right before serving, or sprinkle on top.

Serve over rice or with warm tortillas.



2 cups flour (white, or mix of white/whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup) or 1/2 cup milk (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup)


  • Mix the flour, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  • Into the dry ingredients cut in the shortening, or add oil if you are using this option, & mix with your fingertips to combine.
  • Add the milk or water, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms.
  • Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8-10 balls (for small tortillas) or 6-8 balls for larger ones, cover them again with the damp cloth.
  • Lightly dust a counter or pastry board w/flour & roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately 1/4″ thick. If you want nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges & discard. Don’t roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.
  • Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry & slightly wrinkled & a few brown spots form on both surfaces. Do not over cook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in damp tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.
  • (I place cooked ones wrapped in the damp towel in a low 200 oven to keep warm, while I am cooking the rest.) Serve warm.