Yes, It's possible and you wouldn't even know the difference. We love refried beans, but I dislike the full process and I will not compromise and buy canned beans. Yet, still love them and you know how I love anything easy that meets one of my aspirations. Well, beans are a healthy protein and my toddler loves them. As it turns out, I have to give my husband D, who also loves anything easy, the credit for this one. Due to a really long afternoon nap (thanks to ongoing Mr. B illness and daylight savings time being undone or is it done or is it just now started....moving on), grocery shopping had to happen during the last part of dinner prep. D finished up Mexican night with quesadillas, homemade yogurt and hot sauce for dipping, salad, and beans. The pinto beans were ready in the crock pot, but needed mashing. D didn't want to mash the 2 pounds of beans (I made a lot because my deep freezer stock was gone), so he got a bright idea, you know a light bulb moment. He got out the hand mixer and went to town on those beans directly in the crock pot. Since you can soak and then cook (on low for about 8 hours) in the crock pot, this became a truly one pot dish (only one dirtied), low use of energy, more nutrient, cheaper, and easier side dish... Oh and you wouldn't believe how they looked, just like the authentic from the restaurant style...mostly mashed with a few partial bits of bean to let you know they are homemade and give it the hearty texture....Yummm....better than canned.
The Compromise: Can't think of one here. This is a total winner. Even if you work, just soak beans overnight, change water and turn on in morning. Come home from work, let your electric hand mixer do the work and a few minutes later, ready to go. Oh and while making the rest of dinner, put the lid back on and they will stay warm.
The Sweet Reward: Fat free, no weird additives or chemicals, could be sodium free if you want, easy, green, healthy, yummy.......and with a cheese quesadilla and avacado, it could be your dinner tonight...or tomorrow if your beans aren't soaking yet ;)