This is one of my favourite recipes for a healthy version of baked beans. Without all the hidden nasties like excessive sugar and salt, these beans come in their own beautiful homemade tomato and herb sauce – perfect to use in any way you would use regular baked beans from a can. If you make this using pulses from a can or carton, the whole thing only takes about 15 minutes to cook. If choosing to make this recipe with dried pulses as we do, you’ll need to do a little pre-preparation before following the below method: pre-soak the dry beans in a large pot of water overnight, then boil them over a low heat for 2-3 hours – don’t worry about having to watch the pot in this time, as long as you’re in the general vicinity to make sure the pot doesn’t either go dry or boil over you can pretty much ignore it until its done. As long as the heat is set such that the beans keep on a low simmer, still bubbling and boiling gently, it’s happy on it’s own. I tend to make one huge batch of beans like this to portion into little bags and freeze until needed, which I can defrost in the microwave then use whenever.
But back to the beans…
You could have them as beans on toast…. or atop a baked potato… or with sweet potato chips…
or pop a whole aubergine (eggplant) into the oven for an hour (200 degrees C)….
… cut it in half, surround it with your favourite veggies…
… top it with baked beans, parmesan and a few herbs, then bake again for 20 minutes…
to make this delicious meal… there are hundreds of possibilities. and all of them delicious 🙂
You won’t regret making these… unless you really hate beans. In which case feel free to order pizza or something.
Ingredients – serves 4
- 4 cans or cartons of pulses of choice, drained – red kidney beans, chick peas, butter beans, whatever you prefer (if using dry pulses, use 1/4 cup of each and follow instructions in the blurb above to slow-cook before you follow the rest of the recipe. NB: raw red kidney beans are actually poisonous! I would recommend using those from a can to avoid issues with undercooking)
- 1 packet (300ml) passata
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced plus 1-2 tsp oil to fry, or 4 tbsp good quality crispy onion pieces (anything in the ingredients other than onion, flour, salt, oil then it’s no good)
- 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes (about 150g)
- 2 tbsp dried thyme or oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup (really enhances tomato flavour)
- 1/2 tsp spice mix of choice, e.g. mild curry powder or cajun, whatever (just adds to background flavour so it’s fairly flexible, most indian or mexican blends also work well)
- Salt to taste – start at 1/2 tsp. Canned beans have salt added and so will need less than dry pulses boiled at home
- if using red onion, heat oil in a saucepan then fry until starting to brown at the edges.
- Put everything except the salt into the saucepan and stir well.
- Bring to the boil, turn down the heat then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so, until the cherry tomatoes pop and the sauce is bubbling nicely. Season with salt to taste, then serve. Enjoy 🙂