Thug Kitchen’s Apple Baked Beans

Finishedbowl1.jpgThese “baked” beans are a misnomer since they’re cooked entirely on the stovetop. That means, though, that they’re a great dish to make all year round. They’re tangy, sweet and just a little bit different thanks to the addition of diced apple and fresh rosemary.

I follow the Thug’s recipe faithfully except for a few tweaks: maple syrup, liquid smoke and salt (don’t add the salt ‘til the end; you may not need it). Here’s their recipe, tidied up a bit for delicate sensibilities (that would not be mine) and with photos, which are not in the cookbook.

There is some overnight prep involved – read the recipe all the way through!

Ingredients.jpg

Ingredients

1 ½ cups dried white beans (I use a mix of navy beans and Great Northern beans)

2 tsps olive oil

½ onion diced

1 clove garlic minced

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp liquid smoke

15 oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp molasses

2 Tbsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsps soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp sea salt (optional)

1 sprig rosemary (sprig should be about 6-8” long)

2 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 medium apple washed but not peeled, cored and cut into pieces about the size of your pinky fingertip. I use either a Granny Smith or Macintosh apple.

Directions

Soak the beans in a big bowl of water for 8 hours. I soak my beans in the fridge overnight.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until it’s starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and paprika and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the drained beans, tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, maple syrup (or brown sugar), liquid smoke, vegetable broth and rosemary. Stir it all up. This is the “witch’s brew” stage or as the Thug’s say it will look like you’re “trying to cast a spell or some shit”.

beansrosemary.jpg

Simmer this all together for about 1 hour. The leaves will have fallen off your rosemary so just fish out the remaining twig.

At this point, taste the beans and add salt, if you want.

Stir in the chopped apple and simmer for about another 30 minutes.

Serve up immediately. This dish will last for 4 days in the fridge and freezes well. It makes 4 extremely filling servings.

 

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Indian chili – no fail, tasty and a bit different

IndianChili

This is one of the easiest and fastest recipes ever and pretty much no-fail. The taste is familiar but with an eastern twist that’s flavourful and fun. As with most chilis and tomato-based dishes, this dish is even better the next day and freezes well. Serve it over rice or naan bread.

Ingredients

3 cups of beans (that’s two 15-ounce cans). DO NOT DRAIN. If you’re using freshly cooked beans, then you’ll want to add about ½ cup water to the chili pot.

I used red kidney beans and great northern beans, because that’s what was in the pantry. You could go all white kidney bean, navy bean, black bean, all red kidney bean or even a mixed bean. Whatever suits you.

398 ml (10 ounces) can tomato sauce

1 tomato diced. I used one red and one yellow “cocktail” tomato – they are sized somewhere between a regular tomato and a cherry tomato. You want about ½ cup of diced tomato.

1 onion diced

1 jalapeno pepper minced

2-3 cloves garlic

1 thumb size piece of ginger root, peeled and grated. You’ll have a heaping tablespoon of grated ginger

1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil

1 cup of chopped spinach or kale – optional but nice for greenery

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp cayenne

Directions

Put the oil, onion, garlic, jalapeno and ginger in a pot and sauté the ingredients over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomato, tomato sauce, salt and spices and cook for about another 3 minutes or so. Add the beans (and water if using). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered. Stir in the kale or spinach, if using.

Serve with rice or naan. Enjoy!

Beans and greens – northern soul food

beansandgreens

Leafy greens – think kale, spinach, lettuces, chard, dandelion and collard greens – are touted as a superfood. They’re something I consciously have to remember to work into my diet, and when I’m do I always wonder why I don’t eat more. They’re delicious!

Here is an easy, fast, tasty and comforting cold weather dish I refer to simply as beans and greens.

Ingredients

10 oz of a sturdy pasta like farfalle, penne or rotini

2 cups vegetable broth

15 oz can white beans (or any kind of bean you like). That’s about 1 ½ cups of cooked beans. Drain and rinse if you’re using canned beans.

3-4 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

A pinch of red pepper flakes

¼ cup almond butter

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 cups of raw greens chopped into bite-sized pieces. In this photo, I’ve used collard greens.

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper)

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and place in a large bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the garlic and pepper flakes until the garlic is golden. Add the broth, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and almond butter and heat through stirring until the almond butter melts into the broth. Add the beans and greens and stir together until the greens wilt a bit. Pour the beans and greens mixture into the bowl with the pasta and toss together to incorporate. This makes 4 large servings.

This dish is great served with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and tastes even better the next day.

My salad days

My salad days

It’s September 1st and the garden is bursting with goodies: yellow and green beans, savoy cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion, green pepper, cucumber and tomatoes.

Summer is having a hot and steamy farewell this week so I opted for a quartet of salads for my dinner.

SaladDays

  1. Spicy Asian coleslaw (top of the plate)
  2. A creamy cucumber salad (on the right)
  3. A traditional bean salad (front and centre), and
  4. My mom’s potato salad (on the left).

Each recipe makes about 3-4 servings. Each salad is better after sitting overnight but you MUST let the bean salad sit overnight or you won’t get the full flavour effect.

Spicy Asian slaw

4 cups of green cabbage shredded or diced (that’s about 1/3 of a savoy cabbage)

1 carrot sliced or shredded

½ stalk celery sliced thinly

¼ of a large onion diced

¼ of a green pepper diced

2 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp hot chili paste (I use sambal oelek)

About 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy! I like this salad with roasted tofu too and a few chow mein noodles.

Note – if you have radishes they are great in this salad too and add pretty colour.

Creamy cucumber salad

About half of a large English cucumber. Do not peel. Cut into quarters and then slice.

1 green onion sliced – I use the white and green

1 tsp fresh dill or more to taste

A few grinds of black pepper

½ tsp salt

I Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!

Traditional bean salad

¾ cup fresh beans

15 oz can of mixed beans (not bean salad) – drained and rinsed

¼ of a green pepper diced

½ of a large onion cut in half and then sliced in thin rings

½ stalk (or more) celery thinly sliced

¼ cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil (or good vegetable oil)

3 Tbsp sugar (use raw sugar, processed, white sugar may have been made with animal bone ash – ugh)

½ tsp salt or to taste

A few grinds of black pepper to taste

Cut the stem end of the beans off and put the beans in boiling water until they are cooked – about 5-10 minutes. Drain the beans and let them cool. When the beans have cooled, cut into 1” pieces and place in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Toss everything together and let marinate for a few hours or overnight. You really must let this salad marinate!

My mom’s potato salad

3 cups of boiled potatoes (I live the skin on), cooled and cut into bite-sized pieces

¼ of a large onion diced

1 stalk celery sliced thinly

1-2 dill pickles diced

1 ½ Tbsp olive oil or other good vegetable oil

2 Tbsp dill pickle juice (the brine from the jar)

3 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

Salt and pepper to taste (careful on the salt – the pickle juice is already salty!)

In a large bowl toss the potatoes, onion, oil and pickle juice together until the potatoes and onion are coated. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together.

p.s. My mom would not be happy that I shared her recipe. She would be delighted that we’re all still gushing over her potato salad though.