Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery

Pinto Beans and Cheese


I’ve counseled many people who craved popular Mexican foods after bariatric surgery. While huge burritos are off limits, the beany, cheesy essence of what makes them so addictive is what you get with this recipe. Vegetarian refried beans are a great source of protein and fiber—two nutrients needed after surgery in high amounts. Beans are a wonderfully inexpensive protein source; keep cans of beans on hand for the early days after surgery or simply to make a meal in a hurry at any time.

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning (here)

¼ cup shredded cheese, such as Cheddar, Mexican blend, or pepper Jack

1 In a small pot over medium-low heat, heat the beans until warm throughout, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice and taco seasoning, and mix to combine.

2 To achieve the desired consistency, use a blender or immersion blender to puree the beans, or mash them with a potato masher.

3 Before serving, top the beans with the cheese and stir to melt.

Post-op tip: These tasty refried beans are perfect for the puree stage post-op. Add some powdered egg whites or unflavored protein powder to them to increase your protein load for the meal.

Per Serving (¼ cup): Calories: 123 Total fat: 3g Sodium: 421mg Total carbs: 18g Sugar: 0g Fiber: 5g Protein: 7g

Post-Op Servings

image ¼ cup image ½ cup image ½ to 1 cup