Mexican Style Bean Stew/Sauce

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We have introduced a food initiative at work, entitled Foodies Day. Foodies Day was pioneered by two engineers who aren't known for their creativity, hence the super creative name, but these two engineers are known for their love of food. The concept was this: once a month, everyone in the office pitches in $5 or $10 (depending on the requirements). We collate all the money and go and get food to share for lunch. Sounds simple I know, but it ended up turning into an elaborate affair.

There were lots of requests for cuisines, namely Indian, Thai, dumplings, kebabs, and so on, so we had to create a voting system. Then we decided to take it one step further, and see if we could host a build your own burrito lunch! We brought in all the fillings, including a slow cooker with chicken mince sauce and a big pot of vegetarian chilli, heated up tortillas in the microwave and set up a production line! It was a huge hit!

The Mexican foodies day made it apparent that home cooked food was even more appreciated than takeaway, so we decided to do another home cooked foodies day last week. This time the theme was baked potatoes. Once again we had the slow cooker to cook the potatoes (my colleague came in at 7am so that the potatoes could cook for 5 hours!), then we had all the usual toppings of butter, cheese, coleslaw, sour cream, caramelised onion, bacon and guacamole. I did decide however to mix it up a bit and bring in a Mexican style bean sauce. I didn’t make much of it, thinking that most people wouldn’t be interested, but it turned out to be a huge hit, so much so that the bowl was scraped clean!

I ended up making another pot of it on Saturday night for dinner, and served it up in burritos which worked just as well. Everyone was asking for the recipe, so to prevent me repeating the recipe too many times, I’ve decided to blog it!

Kidney Bean Stew/Sauce

Serves 2 (generously)


1 can of kidney beans (or you can use 4 bean mix for some variety)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped finely
½ large capsicum, diced
1 small tomato, diced
½ jar salsa/enchilada sauce (about 100ml)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Chilli powder to taste
Salt to taste


1.  Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes.

2.  Add the capsicum, and fry off a little more. (At this time you can also add in fresh chilli if you like it hot!)

3.  Add in diced tomato, kidney beans, enchilada sauce Mix through thoroughly. The mixture should be a thin saucy consistency. If it is too thick, add in more tomato, salsa or water.

4.  Add in the cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt. Stir through and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and leave it to simmer for as long as you can. I simmered for an hour when I made it for foodies day, but I have simmered for up to 3 hours. Just depends on how much time you have.

5.  Check on the pot occasionally and stir. If it starts to dry up and stick to the bottom, add some water.

6.  Once done, you can garnish with chives, fresh coriander or spring onion. I had none of these so I didn’t bother, but all or some of these herbs add to the flavour (fresh coriander is my favourite).

7.  Serve with burritos, tacos, rice, or baked potatoes!

If you have any other ideas for our office Foodies Day please let me know! We're always looking for ways to make it more exciting!


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