Monday, April 27, 2015

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Baked Beans

Simple and easy...  Grilled Cheese on pumpernickel featuring both pepper jack and Munster cheese, plus diced scallions and a pinch of Tony's Creole seasoning plus a cider vinegar dressed arugula/baby kale/avocado salad.  But what stole the show was the homemade baked beans I did in the slow cooker.  After looking around the internet for recipes I wasn't happy.  Most only offered bottled BBQ sauce as seasoning.  I am avoiding stuff like that because of the high fructose corn syrup and other crazy chemicals.  You can substitute another brand of natural ketchup, I have switched myself, but when I first came up with this recipe the Hunts was the only "all natural" brand that was carried by the chain grocery store that I can walk to.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Baked Beans

2 cans pinto beans, rinsed (or 2/3 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight)
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I like Penzy's Aleppo Flakes)
6 cumin seeds
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup katsup (I like the Hunts "All Natural", no corn syrup or preservatives)
3 TBSP molasses*
3 TBSP cup packed brown sugar
1 TBSP raw honey
1 tsp ground mustard
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp sriracha
dash of liquid smoke (optional... it adds a little "bacony-ness")
Veg stock

  1. If using canned beans: rinse beans until the water runs clean.
  2. Heat 1 TBSP vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute about 7 minutes.  While onions cook add beans to slow cooker. Add tomato paste and stir it in and cook about 2 minutes.  Add pepper flakes, cumin seeds and cayenne.  Bloom for about 30 seconds, add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  3. Add onion/celery mixture to the beans in the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the stock, and stir to combine.  Add just enough stock to moisten the mixture; it should not be watery AT ALL.  If you are using dried beans instead of canned I find that a little extra stock is needed.
  4. If using canned beans: Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for about 5 hours. 
    If using dried beans: Set slow cooker to HIGH and cook for about 5 hours.

Makes about 4 or 5 side servings.


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