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"Cowboy Beans" by Ol Shepp

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 3, 2012 09:26

Cowboy Beans

By OLShepp

 Food is our fuel and everyone is pressed for time, even cowboys.  Protein needs must be considered every day and especially during physically stressful times. Because protein is needed not only to maintain energy levels, it also is needed to help control hunger and maintain lean muscle mass and muscle replenishment for hard working cowboys and cowgirls facing extreme conditions, students learning, and anyone thinking and working hard all day.

When I knew Pops, he was in his later years and his days of punching cattle were numbered.  His concept of food was drastic and his ideals are the most basic of cowboy cooking.


“It’s just food.  You’ve gotta eat it, doesn’t have to taste good.”  Pops declares as he heaps ‘Cowboy Beans’ on each plate around the campfire.

‘Cowboy Beans’ not only tastes good it is loaded with protein and carbohydrates that we all need for energy to work hard, and to concentrate and ride all day in the pouring rain .


Cowboy Beans

·                 Brown 2# lean hamburger, drain and set aside (protein 20 grams/85 g serving, 244 cal )

·                 1 large can baked beans   (protein 14 grams / 1cup serving, 382 cal )

·                 1 small onion chopped

Bits of 1 slice of cooked bacon crumbled for flavor

1 small can diced tomatoes (fresh tomatoes when available).

I heat ingredients, until hot and bubbly @ 350, about 20min.


*Ingredients are listed for convenience sake.  Cowpokes living far from town are not allowed the luxury of always having fresh ingredients.  I have listed alternative fresh ingredients along with the good-old standbys.  I do recommend always using the fresher items when available.


*Serve hot with a fresh tossed salad and my kids love this with corn-on-the-cob.

Protein consumption of between 10-35 % of total caloric intake, diminishes hunger and ensures maintenance of healthy muscle tissues.  Protein is required to maintain energy balance, satiety and nutrient intake to promote health and support lean tissues in order to reduce risk of chronic diseases.  Good quality proteins that are low in fats; fish, lean meats, poultry, whole-wheat cereals and grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy are essential to everyone’s wellness.

Good food and happy tummies are a “cowboys” preventive medicine.  You Cowboys like to eat, and will come in from a busy day for a good meal.


Reprinted by kind permission of OLShepp, lives with her family on a ranch in Wyoming where she cooks and writes for the health of it.  www.cookingforcowboys.com , provides simple recipes for healthy cooking on a budget.



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Cooking For Cowboys by OLShepp

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 3, 2012 09:20



I, like you, dreamt of being a cowboy as a kid roping calves and riding like the wind.




Cowboys are no more healthy than anyone else.  Cowboys do get the flu and they should get vaccinated and visit the dentist on a yearly basis.  However, most of you cowboys and some of you cowgirls whom I know do not see a doctor regularly.  And certainly not when it’s something that can be fixed with a sip of  whiskey, an aspirin or a horse pill.




Most cowboys reside too far from town to mess with the trip for preventive medical efforts like dental check-ups, vaccinations etc.  Self-sufficiency is this terrible disease that we cowboys have of not letting anyone tell us what we need nor what we don’t need.




Time is another factor to consider today for us cowboys seeking preventive measures.  A full day must be set aside for trips to town with lists stretching into the neighboring county.  Imagine the fences wasting away, the water wells gone dry, the irrigation water wasting while you were wasting time for a check-up.  Cowboys don’t do this.  We go to the doctor when and only when we’re broken.    Sound familiar?




The “Cooking for Cowboys” column originated as a cooking column.  My research logically began with recipes; the recipes I had in my collections, my mother’s collection, her mother’s and so on.




The recipes discovered are grand, the stories behind the recipes are entertaining and the characters are divine.  The tales that unravel while I research and write become much more than recipes, much more than cooking.  The people who do the cooking, the nourishing, do so much more.  Much more work, love and living go into cooking for cowboys than you ever imagined.








 Reprinted with kind permission of OL Shepp, thanks!


Living on the family ranch in Wyoming,  OL Shepp writes of love, laughter, life and sometimes her cute kids, or maybe a horse or two.  When she's not cooking for cowboys and cowgirls.  Read more of OlShepp's @ olshepp.wordpress.com & cookingforcowboys.com




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