Late yesterday afternoon Bruce and I were invited to a backyard barbecue at my sister’s home with family and friends. We never go to somebody’s home empty handed so I offered to make some Baked Beans to share. My sister made pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw so the Baked Beans were a perfect addition to the feast. We socialized with friends, played bean bag toss games and competed ferociously at foos ball for hours. We all had a wonderful time!
I had only a couple of hours to prepare the beans so I thought I’d cook them in a dutch oven on the stove rather than firing up the oven. And I am pleased to say that the stove top method worked. My “Stove Top” Baked Beans were delicious and I completely sold out by the end of the evening. My Baked Beans are an interesting combination of black beans, great northern beans and little sweet aduki beans. They are similar to a Southern Style Baked Beans but with a distinct Asian flair. Instead of molasses, I used sweet Indonesian Soy Sauce. I also added zesty Sriracha and floral scented Szechuan pepper for a bold and unique flavor. These beans tasted so good that the “carnivores” in the crowd had no idea that the beans were vegan too! Makes 12 servings. Enjoy! Tessa
1 – 15 ounce can black beans (drained)
1 – 15 ounce can great northern beans (drained)
1 – 15 ounce can aduki beans (drained)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp canola oil
1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Indonesian Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Sriracha sauce
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp ground Szechuan pepper
1 cup water
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Begin by grabbing a dutch oven or cast iron pot with a lid. Heat dutch oven on stove with a medium flame and add canola oil. Add onions and cook until translucent or about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, turn stove down to low and cook partially covered for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours stirring occasionally. Add water if the beans are too thick, or remove the lid and cook longer if the mixture is too thin for your liking. Taste and correct your seasonings and serve. Makes 1 1/2 quarts or 12 servings of “Stove Top” Baked Beans.
I’ve learned that cooking good food does not always start in the kitchen. So, every year I plant a little garden in my backyard. I don’t have a lot of space for a big garden so my husband Bruce built me a couple of raised garden beds that I stuff with all kinds of vegetables. We compost our kitchen scraps and yard clippings to make the soil in the little garden fertile and perfect for planting. It’s amazing how many vegetables a little patch of earth can produce.
Since it is mid March in Southern Oregon I was able to plant snow peas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and onions. This year instead of starting my plants from seed, I decided to buy a bunch of vegetable starts. Planting starts allows me to harvest my vegetables a few weeks earlier than planting directly from seed. Preparing meals with home grown fresh picked ingredients does not get much better!
Plant starts waiting to be put in the ground.
I will be picking fresh crisp snow peas in about 6 weeks! I can’t wait!
After I planting my little spring garden I decided to make a pot of White Chicken Chili. White Chicken Chili is hearty, flavorful and perfect for a cool spring day. Garnish with fresh chopped red bell peppers, sharp white cheddar cheese and sliced green onions. Serve with a slice of cornbread or a green salad. Enjoy! Tessa
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp olive oil
big pinch of salt
2 – 15 ounce cans of great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
1 4 ounce can diced roasted green chilies
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried ground jalapeno
1/8 tsp white pepper
salt to taste
In a large sauce pan with a lid, saute the onion, bell pepper, salt and olive oil until onion is opaque. Chop the chicken into 1 inch sized pieces. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until a light golden color. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on medium low for about half an hour or until the beans are cooked to your liking. Taste and correct your seasonings. Garnish with shredded white cheddar cheese, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onions. Makes about 2 big fabulous bowls of White Chicken Chili.
Note: Next time I make this, I am going to try it in my slow cooker.
It was cold and rainy yesterday… and I was stuck at home. I did not feel like watching TV. I already read the paper. And I did not feel like solving another Sudoku puzzle. There was no doubt that I was “bored out of my gourd”. So, later on that morning I thought it would be a good idea to make a healthy bowl of soup for lunch. I had some beautiful blue potatoes tucked away in the back of my fridge and a bunch of gorgeous purple kale in the crisper drawer.
I had never cooked purple kale before and when I saw it at my favorite store, I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous dark color. I just tossed it in my basket and headed straight to the check stand with my prize. I did not have a clue what I was going to do with it, all I wanted to do was try it. And, I’m glad that I did… The soup tasted wonderful.
In addition to learning about cooking kale, I learned a bit about blue potatoes. Blue potatoes are beautiful. Blue potatoes look cool. Blue potatoes are different and if you plan on cooking blue potatoes in a soup or stew it will eventually turn everything in your soup a funky blue color. I figured that out today after wanting have another bowl for lunch a day after I made the soup. I opened up the Tupperware container and was quite shocked at the color change. The soup tasted great but the visual appeal was nonexistent. So, word to the wise… Unless you intend to make a dark blue soup, omit the blue potatoes.
My Kale and White Bean Soup is tasty, hearty and delightfully vegan. It has tender bits of purple kale, potatoes, great northern beans, red bell pepper, thyme and tarragon in a savory organic vegetable stock. Enjoy! Tessa
2 cups purple kale (rinsed, stems removed, chopped and packed)
2 cups waxy type potato (diced)
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1 can (15 ounce) great northern beans (rinsed well and drained)
1 cup onion (diced)
1/3 cup red pepper (diced)
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 dashes Maggi seasoning
2 pinches white pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
chopped parsley for garnish
Begin by cooking the onion and olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the vegetable stock, potatoes, tarragon, thyme, Maggi seasoning, and white pepper. Cook covered for about 10-15 minutes. Add the purple kale, beans and red onion. Cook until the kale is tender another 20-25 minutes. Taste the soup. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Makes about 2 quarts of soup. Serves 6 -8.