It is January, Christmas is over and so are all the over indulgences that go with it. Our budget is tight, all those bills are starting to come in, and our pants are tight, all those cookies, cakes, drinks etc, are starting to show themselves in extra poundage and inches.
Right now in the oven, I have some Maple Baked Beans slow cooking for tonight's dinner. Something that is slimming to both your budget and waistline.
It is Monday, and it is stupid night here in the Jenkins household. I have to run carpool today for the high school kids, which means I leave at 1:50 p.m. and get back into town around 3:15, just in time to pick up Daniel and Amanda from their school. Amanda has dance tonight, she needs to be ready to go at 4:45, which means she needs to eat her dinner at 4:00, which is the same time I am on my way out the door with Daniel to take him to his Karate class. Thankfully, Marissa takes Amanda to dance along with her daughter Alexa. I get home from Karate around 5:30 or so, and then have to go pick up the dance girls at 6:30. And who knows when Dave gets home. So in the midst of this madness I need to have dinner ready for the five of us to eat in shifts. And this recipe is a lifesaver. It is from the cookbook Dinner Survival by Sandi Richard. You have to watch Sandi in her show Fixing Dinner on FoodTV. Fabulous show for cooks short on time, love love it.
Here is the recipe:
1 1/4 cups dry white navy beans
5 cups water
Sauce for Beans:
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Sambal Oelek (crushed chili paste)
add more if you like it hot (we do)
2 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup water
4 bacon slices
THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Rinse beans in a colander, discarding shriveled ones. Place beans and water in a large stove-top pot at high heat. Finely chop onion, adding to pot as you cut. Stir. Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat to medium-low for a low boil. Set timer for 15 minutes.
Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, pepper, mustard, Sambal Oelek, vinegar, molasses, ketchup, and water in a large oven-safe pot or casserole. Trim and discard most of the fat from bacon.
When the time rings for the beans, transfer beans, water and onion into the sauce pot and stir to combine. Lay bacon on top. Cover, let cool, then place in fridge overnight.
IN THE MORNING:
Set the oven to 250F (set at 225F if gone more than 10 hours) Place beans in oven.
At the end of the day when you get home, reset oven to 350F. Remove 1 cup of beans with sauce into a bowl. Mash with a fork, return to bean pot and stir. Place beans back in oven, uncovered. Set timer for 20 minutes. When timer rings put some whole grain bread in the oven next to the beans, then turn off oven. Put together a salad while the bread warms and voila you have dinner!!
I am allergic to pork, so instead of real bacon, I use vegetarian bacon, gives the dish the same smoky bacon taste, but without the added fat and for me itchiness.
If you do use real bacon in the beans and you live in the area, I highly recommend you get your bacon from Oakridge Acres. They have the best bacon (at least according to those in my house who can eat bacon) and it is lean!!! No fat to drain when you are finished cooking the bacon and there is very little shrinkage.