Friday, August 15, 2008

Tomato-Free Baked Beans

Mmmm… baked beans. I love them. Unfortunately, most canned baked beans include tomato sauce and tomatoes are a no-go for me. There are a few tomato-free brands but that doesn’t give a person much variety. So, since my son loves legumes of nearly all types (he’s not so into garbanzo beans but what the heck) and I like them too, I thought it might be fun to try something a little different and go for a flavor that might even entice my husband who really isn’t such a bean fan.

Here’s what I did. You’ll need:

· 6 C dry Great Northern beans
· 1 quart chicken stock
· 1 clove of garlic, minced
· 2 T lime juice
· 8 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice (NOT syrup)
· 4 T maple syrup (I used sugar-free maple syrup)
· 1 T rice vinegar
· 2 T lite soy sauce
· 1 tsp celery salt
· ¼ sweet onion (medium to large)
· Salt and pepper to taste

This is not a quick recipe but it is fairly low effort. First of all, you’ll need to soak the beans in water overnight. After that, drain away the water and put the beans in a large stock pot with the chicken stock, garlic, lime juice and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil for about an hour.

Add the pineapple chunks with juice, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, celery salt and onion. At this point, you can continue cooking the beans on the stove top or transfer them to the slow cooker. If you choose the slow cooker, be aware that you will need to allow the beans to cook for 7 – 8 hours. Certainly, the quickest method is on the stove top (about another hour) but the slow cooker does allow you to leave them while you go about your business. In the end, you need to cook the beans until they are tender.

Near the end of the cooking process, taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.

This is a great side dish for a pot luck since it makes a LOT of beans. If you are using it as a side dish for a smaller group, cut the recipe in half. My son will happily eat these as a main dish with a green salad and I like them as a quick, satisfying lunch. As you might imagine, these beans are great as leftovers though I have never tried freezing them. You can certainly give that a try but don’t be too disappointed if the beans are made mushy by the freezing and thawing. Of course, you may not mind that so more power to you.

Alterantives and additions? You bet. You can switch out beef or turkey stock for the chicken stock. You can add other vegetables to make it more of a stew. Carrots and celery would be great in this. If you prefer more of a soup instead of a thicker stew or baked bean casserole texture, add more stock.

Legumes are fantastic, healthy protein and fiber sources so, let’s go eat that!


Tom Aarons said...

Home made baked beans are always so good, but this recipe looks like something truly different and delicious. Yum.

Sandra Gordon said...

My husband doesn't care for baked beans, usually, but he did like these. I'd love to hear your opinion!

Maggie said...

We eat tomatoes but this sounds so good! I love when coming up with an allergen-free recipe creates something new and possibly better than the original. I'll definately try this.

Sandra Gordon said...

I hope you like it! I think it is so important to have an allergen-free dish that is full of flavor in its own right rather than trying to convince yourself it is 'just like the real thing'. It will never be that. It will be different but I don't think 'different' needs to equal 'bad'.

Anonymous said...

Bushes original are tomato free