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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Pad Thai – because I said it is

PadThai2.jpg I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe because Pad Thai is one of those dishes that people are a) very loyal to and b) very scornful about its authenticity. “Ketchup in Pad Thai is just so wrong,” I’ve heard people sneer.

Well hey… guess what. Sometimes I want a tangy, saucy, tomato-y, rice-noodle dish and simply don’t have a Thai street-food vendor handy. Anything else is indeed essentially unauthentic, and yet slurpy delicious anyway.

I made this dish with what I had on hand and was simply happily riffing in my kitchen. The next version I make will include some of the optional ingredients I list below.

So let’s make Audie’s vegan version of Pad Thai.

Ingredients

222 g rice noodles (about 8 ounces)

1 Tbsp coconut or peanut oil

1 small eggplant diced

1 red pepper cored and diced

1 small can bamboo shoots drained

12 oz firm tofu crumbled into fingertip-sized chunks

Other optional vegetables you could add: baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower

Sauce ingredients

1 cup Jufran hot banana sauce (or ketchup) divided in half

I Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or tamarind sauce

Serve garnished with bean sprouts, diced peanuts, hot sauce, lime wedges and basil leaves

Directions

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large pot or wok, heat the coconut or peanut oil. Add the crumbled tofu and heat and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. Add ½ cup of the hot banana sauce (or ketchup) and stir to coat the tofu. Add whatever vegetables you’re using and stir fry until the vegetables are just heated through and just slightly softened (you want to keep that vegetable crunch!). Add the remaining sauce ingredients and toss everything to combine. Add the cooked rice noodles and toss everything again so the noodles are coated.

That’s it! Serve up with lime wedges, diced peanuts, basil and hot sauce.

 

Red lentil dal – dishing up some red hot love

redlentildal

I love Indian food, and lucky me, I got to spend a month in the south of India partaking of some of the best Indian meals any person has ever enjoyed.

This recipe for red lentil dal is highly westernized but no less flavourful and nourishing than the more exotic originals. What it is though, is faster to make using ingredients that are readily available in North America and Europe. Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you – it’s mostly spices you likely already have in your cupboard.

Ingredients

2 cups red lentils

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)

1 large onion diced

2 Tbsp curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)

1 heaping Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground tumeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3-4 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

397 ml can tomato paste (13.5 oz)

1 cup chopped spinach (optional)

2 tomatoes diced

Directions

Cook the lentils. You need 4 cups of liquid. I use a mix of vegetable broth and water. You can use just water or all vegetable broth. Bring the lentils and liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer covered. The lentils will only take about 15 minutes to cook. There may be a tiny amount of liquid in the pot and that’s okay. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the coconut oil. Add the diced onion and cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden.

Add all the spices and seasonings: curry paste, curry powder, cumin, tumeric, chili powder, sambal oelek, garlic, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and heat through combining with the onion. Add the chopped tomato and combine. Add the tomato paste and spinach and combine. Last, add in the cooked lentils and mix everything together.

Serve with basmati rice, samosas and chapati bread. Mmmmm.

 

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!