I love baked beans because they remind me of summertime. When I was child and my mom asked me what she should bring to church picnics, my answer was always the same: her amazing beans. I don’t know what it is about the maple, smoky beany flavor that I love, but I have been wanting to recreate her basic recipe for some time. Now that the weather is (hopefully) breaking, I am in the mood for summer eats: corn on the cob (being brace-free has never felt so good), veggie dogs and burgers, pasta salad and of course, baked beans!
My mom’s recipe called for some help from canned baked beans. She added peppers, onions, ketchup and bacon and then let it cook to reduce. My vegan version uses plain kidney beans and liquid smoke for the added flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that it is a base, so if you like green peppers or a meat substitute, you can add it in and it would be great!
This recipe is also very filling! I ate it again yesterday after my race and it was a great mid afternoon lunch addition that put me right to sleep (I napped for two hours). Kidney beans also are really good for you! They have protein, iron and complex carbohydrates to keep you full and focus.
Most importantly, this MEATLESS MONAY Meal contains no animal suffering or exploitation. Head over to Tina’s blog to see what it’s all about!
Smoky Maple Baked Beans
1 small onion chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 T molasses
2 T maple syrup
A few drops liquid smoke
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce, divided
2-15oz cans kidney beans
Sweet paprika to taste
Drain the kidney beans and reserve about 1/4 cup liquid from cans. Add liquid to a large skillet and saute garlic and onions until the onions are translucent. Add in the tomato sauce, molasses, maple syrup, liquid smoke and half of the apple sauce. Mix until combined. Add in the beans and bring to a simmer. Add in the rest of a apple sauce and Dijon mustard and simmer for 2 minutes. Add in paprika to taste and serve.