Homemade Refried Beans

by Christa Upton

Okay, so refried beans don’t have much to do with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), suffering, books, children (unless they like beans), or the Black Hills, but homemade refried beans sure are good!!  🙂

Here is the recipe we found recently, and I absolutely love it (except might use less salt next time):


Put finished beans in a flour tortilla with a little cooked venison, salsa, and maybe sour cream, and wow—yummy lunch!!

(Nice homemade tortilla recipe here:  http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/06/soft-homemade-tortillas.html.)

Actually, homemade beans and tortillas do have to do with MCS….  Many people with MCS find that they cannot tolerate certain prepared foods, additives, etc.  This is one of a huge number of recipes that has helped me eat healthier and avoid physical detriment from food.  (Feel free to let me know if you would like more posts or links to healthy recipes!)

Two benefits to homemade cooking (rather than using “factory foods”) are that many homemade foods taste better (IMHO) and are cheaper.  I always used to think that canned goods were cheaper, but after watching Robert Irvine (Food Network) enough, I’m convinced that canned food can be more expensive!   That’s not to say we personally don’t use canned food when it makes sense to us, though.  (I will not be inviting Robert Irvine to criticize our pantry or food preparation!  LOL)

Two negatives to homemade cooking are that it usually takes a lot more work and a lot more time.

Having MCS and the “increased” need for healthy eating is what tips the scales for us.

In particular, I get headaches from cooking anything with nitrites in it (bacon, ham) and even worse headaches if I eat it.  (I’ve been tempted to eat cheap bacon anyway but so far haven’t given in.  I’m trying to remember headaches are no good for me even for the joy of bacon….  🙂 )  I got terrible symptoms once from some candy (likely the strong artificial flavors in it), “normal” (pasteurized) dairy products cause me icky symptoms, and cinnamon and mint give me heartburn.  In addition, I like to avoid anything likely to have greater amounts of MSG, silicon, artificial color, or sodium benzoate in it.

But with these exceptions, I am blessed in that I can eat some foods with who-knows-what in it every once in a while!!  (So hand over that Milky Way bar, please….   🙂 )


Christa Upton      Black Hills Picture Books      PO Box 293      Custer, SD 57730



About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 11, 14, and 18. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have published 4 children's books (2 in e-book format on Kindle, one in Print-on-Demand at CreateSpace, and one printed by a local printer). Sometimes I miss my old life, but I love writing for children!
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