Friday, September 14, 2012

Baked Beans

A couple of weekends ago, I attended one of my fav food events - Reno's Rib Cookoff. Okay, okay, there's tremendous potential for experiencing some of the least healthy eating with all those high fat ribs covered with sweet BBQ sauce, but it's easy to healthy it up a bit by adding baked beans and corn on the cob (hold the butter). And, I had some of the best baked beans I've had in a long time. When I got home, I found I craved more baked beans, so here's my rendition.


1 cup white beans, Michigan beans or small white beans
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp dried mustard
1 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs agave syrup
2 Tbs BBQ sauce
1 Tbs paprika
1/2 cup leftover pulled pork (optional)

Directions: Sort through beans, removing any broken ones. Place beans in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the beans, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain the beans. Replace the water with 3 cups cold water, add the onion,and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 1 hour, until the beans begin to become tender. Drain the water, saving one cup of cooking liquid, then add the dried mustard, molasses, agave syrup, and your favorite BBQ sauce. Add the paprika, and pulled pork, if using. Add some of the reserved water if the beans seem too dry. For true "baked" beans, place the beans in an oven proof baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. If you prefer, you may simmer them in their saucepan for about 20 minutes, until the flavors meld, and the beans become meltingly tender.

Stealthy Cooking Tip:  I like to serve these as a main course, adding corn muffins and a salad to complete the meal. These are so hearty that I usually serve them without the pulled pork, in their vegetarian version, and find that no one notices there's no meat! If you've thought of joining the movement of enjoying one or more meatless meals each week, these make for a good meal!

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