Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Baked Beans

Make these baked beans at your next summer get-together - the addition of fresh vegetables makes them lighter than other baked bean recipes.

Ahead of time, place 1/2 pound dried pinto beans in a bowl; cover with water to 2 inches above the beans, then cover and let stand at least 8 hours, and up to overnight. Drain the beans.

Place the beans in a saucepan with 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper and 4 and 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Drain the beans over a bowl, reserving 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid.

Place the drained beans, the reserved liquid and 1/4 tsp. salt in a pot - I wish I had a pretty Creuset Dutch oven for this recipe, but my casserole dish worked just as well. Set aside, but cover, in order to the beans warm.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups chopped onion and 1/4 tsp. salt; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 cup chopped red bell pepper and 2 small minced garlic cloves (or 1 large minced clove); cook for 1 and 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 and 1/2 cups chopped tomato, and continue cooking for 1 and 1/2 minutes, still stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, 3/4 tsp. paprika and 1/8 tsp. black pepper.

Combine the onion mixture with the bean mixture - I recommend at least a 2-quart casserole dish. I managed to fit this recipe in my 1.5-quart dish, but stirring had to be done very delicately. (Note: the original recipe called for an additional 1/4 tsp. of salt here as well, but since there was already 1/2 tsp. of salt total so far, I left it at that - I try to keep sodium levels down! Add the extra bit if you like, though).

Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Stir in a teaspoon and a half of balsamic vinegar just before serving.

3/4 of a cup is 250 calories - that will give you 5 side servings, but make the portions a little bigger for vegans and vegetarians in the crowd!

pinto beans $1.07
onion $0.95
red bell pepper $1.35
garlic $0.45
tomato $1.85
mint $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance