Meal Planning Monday and Crock Pot Pinto Beans!

Hi folks. I had  a busy, but fun, week in the kitchen while my parents were here. I am going to keep meal planning simple this week and utilize some of the wonderful fresh herbs we have growing in the garden. We’ve had a morning shower about every other day since we planted so I haven’t managed to kill them yet (just one or two but that’s because they got too much water and we figured out the pot didn’t have a drain hole- oops). So on the menu….

Menu for the Week of June 26th


Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad, Antipasti Tray (Vegetables, Olives, Hummus, Grapes Leaves), Crusty Bread


Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders (but using whole wheat hamburger buns instead of minis), Slaw Salad, Crock Pot Beans


Salmon and Vegetables with Lemon and Dill, Orzo Salad with Feta and Garbanzo Beans


Chicken Sausage on the Grill, Vegetable Ratatouille with Fresh Oregano & Parsley, Leftover Orzo


Bean and Cheese Chalupas (using Crock Pot Beans), Guacamole, Romaine Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing


Out to eat or homemade pizza


Holiday weekend so not sure of plans!

So moving on to the recipe for my pinto beans. You may have noticed that we eat a lot of bean and cheese tacos (or chalupas). It is my go-to meal when I haven’t had time to cook. We all love them and the parents jazz them up with guacamole and hot sauce. Everyone is happy. Typically I use low fat refried beans, but lately have been using my homemade pinto beans instead. My husband LOVES barracho beans. He always requests them at the Mexican restaurant over the refried beans. I, on the other hand, don’t get too excited about my side of beans. I prefer spending my calories on the other stuff- mainly my entree and chips. BUT since we have been eating so many beans over the years I decided to try my own homemade beans. I was skeptical because I have had many beans like this that are flavorless and too soupy. I don’t not like my beans soupy. Sorry. So a couple months ago I made these crock pot beans and fell in love. They make the best bean and cheese tacos (using my fresh tortilla land tortillas) and I feel like I am getting a good quality taco/burrito like I would get in the restaurant….but better because I know my beans are healthy and not made with lard….and the little bit of ham really adds a richness to the taco.

Another benefit of cooking beans from scratch- super inexpensive. I paid a little over a dollar for the pound of beans, not much for the ham and we got probably a dozen servings out of it. Plus beans freeze great so I almost always put at least half in the freezer. You’ve got to try ’em! If you are skeptic like me, trust me on this one. I included a stove top method too so if you don’t have a slow cooker you can try them too!

Sort em and soak them over night

Transfer to slow cooker, add fresh water, half way through the cooking time add ham, onions and spices

Straight off the slow cooker

The next day, some of that liquid gets absorbed, the flavors intensify, they make the perfect taco/burrito

Seriously good people

Nutritious Eats Benefits: protein, fiber, iron, folate, low fat

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  1. Heather Beard says

    Here is what The Beard’s are having this week. Hopefully I can stick to it.
    Sunday: leftovers :(
    Monday: Reduced Fat sausage, with carrots, celery, onion and brown rice. Served in a pita. (It is a Cooking Light recipe) and green beans.
    Tuesday: Shrimp Tacos w/black bean, corn, tomato salsa
    Wed: Chicken and eggplant parm and steamed asparagus
    Thurs: Fish sticks, sweet potato fries (which I forgot at the store) and coleslaw . This may be a leftover night.
    Fri: Pool Night. Sandwiches and I am going to try the Pesto Pasta Salad

  2. Gretchen Hokenson says

    Here we go for the week. I had one of my almost seven year olds ( have seven year old twins) and my hubby help me plan. I was AMAZED at the suggestions of my son, not your average seven year olds suggestions.

    Monday–Tostadas with left over chicken (in the freezer from our margarita lime chicken from father’s day) and blackbeans. Fruit
    Tuesday–Chicken Shish kabobs (this was a suggestion by my son) sweet peppers, red onions, and parboiled red potatoes. Fruit
    Wednesday–Pork tacos these are amazing spicy with pineapple. Served on corn tortillas with cilantro, pickled red onions, cojito cheese, and pico. Fruit.
    Thursday–left overs or eggs if we are skimpy on left overs with fruit.
    Friday–Salad bar (one of my kids favorites). Anything in the fridge that could work on a salad, and make our own salad bar. The kids get into building their own colorful salad with loads of veggies.
    Saturday–Grilled Mahi Mahi, green beans, I am going to look for a quinoa pilaf type recipe. (this was another suggestion of my son)
    Sunday–BLT’s (with Turkey bacon) and fresh fruit.

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      That is so cute Gretchen. Always nice to get suggestions from the family. I wonder how mine don’t get sick of me telling them what we’re eating all the time!

  3. says

    Okay, I will try your CP bean recipe. I tried one once and after all day (over 10 hours) in the CP, they were still hard as a rock. I have no clue why they turned out so bad but I desperately want to figure this out b/c I love how cheap and nutritious beans are!

  4. says

    Oops, forgot to post my menu plan.

    Sunday: Homemade chicken noodle soup
    Monday: Pizza bagels, cucumbers and grapes
    Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pepper Steak, mashed potatoes
    Wednesday: Possibly pancakes (I’ll let the kids decide)
    Thursday: Homemade pizza, carrots/celery sticks, fresh fruit
    Friday: Leftovers

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Here are my ideas (not a perfect sub for ham but just some things to add a little more flavor)- sub a little chicken broth for the water and maybe some smoked paprika for extra flavor. You could also try adding some cooked turkey bacon for more meatiness , but since I’ve never tried that I am not sure what difference it would make. If you end up just omitting the ham and changing nothing else, I’d add a little more onion and salt. I think they’d still be great!

  5. says

    Oooh.. this recipe looks so good. And any excuse to use my slow cooker instead of turning on the stove or oven is wonderful in this brutal heat that we are having. This will definitely be going on the meal plan for next week. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Amanda Macedo says

    Mel, Here is our plan for the week…Marlos is gone Tuesday – Thursday, so we will see how it goes:
    Sunday- Linguini with Venison/Pork Sausage and Applewood Smoked Bacon in Red Sauce with basil, oregeno and lots of garlic, Side Salad
    Monday – Seared Ahi Tuna Salad (shocker)…pigs in blanket, fruit and carrots for kiddo
    Tuesday-Grilled Chicken breast, sweet potato and side salad
    Wednesday-Leftover Pasta
    Thursday-Marlos gets back from Houston business trip…maybe turkey paninis and fresh fruit
    Friday-Carlos Macedo B-Day Dinner at Brazilian Steakhouse
    Saturday-Probaby grill

  7. Dana says

    I made the beans today. My husband and I loved them. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am also looking forward to the leftovers in the freezer :)

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Thanks Dana! Love hearing feedback- I appreciate it! Yes, they make the best leftover tacos!

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