Monday, November 5, 2007

Vegetarian Baked Beans

I'm usually a little disappointed in Cooking Light magazine - a lot of the things I've made from them are just so bland :( I picked up the October issue on a whim while waiting in line at the grocery store and boy am I glad I did! I read it while I was in a week-long conference for work in September (shhh!) and turned down the corner of so many pages - it was just chock full of recipes I had to try! I've already made several of them. This was one of my favorites. I just made one small adjustment to make the beans vegetarian since I don't eat pork products/I eat very little meat in general. If you'd like, you can add 4 slices of bacon to it - I'll put a link to the original recipe at the bottom. I wonder if soy bacon would work or if that would just be weird... probably best for me just to stick with my bacon-free version! ;)
Not sure if this is vegan or not - it has molasses which I'll have to ask my sister about... I'm pretty sure it's vegan-friendly!

This will make 10 servings.
Since I'm the only one in my house who will eat baked beans (can you believe my husband doesn't like them?! He doesn't know what he's missing!), I didn't make anywhere near that much!

1 pound dried navy beans
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 minced jalapeno pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (I just used red pepper flakes)
5 cups water, divided
1 tsp. salt
Small amount of extra-virgin olive oil or other cooking oil

1. The night before you plan to make this, sort and wash your beans. Place them in a bowl or Dutch oven. Cover the beans with water to 2 inches above the beans. Cover the bowl and let them stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Pour a small drizzle of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottom sauce pan; cook 5 minutes over medium heat or until the onion begins to brown. Stir often. Add the tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add molasses, sugar, jalapeno, mustard, and red pepper; stir to combine. Stir in the beans and 4 cups of water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring this mixture to a boil. Remove the beans from the heat.

4. If you are using an oven-safe Dutch oven, cover the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours. After 4 hours, stir in the additional 1 cup water. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until beans are tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from the oven and stir in the salt.

5. If, like me, you either don't have a Dutch oven (or, in my case, you forget you own one!), you can transfer the beans from the sauce pan to a casserole dish. Follow the rest of the instructions as in step 4.

Obviously if you change the amounts in this recipe, you will also change the cooking time. Mine did not take 4 hours to cook since I only made about 4 servings worth.

These were really yummy served with BBQ chicken and corn bread. Hubby missed out... hee hee ;)

Here's the original recipe from Cooking Light October 2007.

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