It’s not as fun for me to talk about beans as it for me to talk about other things. Like… desserts!
However, man cannot live on desserts alone.
But woman can!
All joking aside, every now and then we take a break from chocolate and eat something else. I know, shocking, but true.
Everything in moderation. From chocolate to beans.
Easy meals or hearty side dishes that happen to be vegan and gluten free and that pass muster with husbands and kids are a beautiful thing.
With a fresh green salad, rice or potatoes on the side, and some fruit, I call that a success story.
I also call it easy.
I am a fan of anything that is a one-pan meal <– check that post for ideas (all are 30 minutes or less and one pot)
And recipes get a gold star beside their name if they make planned leftovers
Cook once, eat twice are words I live by
Reheating and the microwave are God’s greatest gifts to working moms on busy weeknights
And although Scott doesn’t really “like beans”, he tolerates them
As long as there’s dessert
Spicy Baked Black Beans with Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)
1 large can black beans (I used a 21.5 oz can of Bush’s Fiesta Beans which is about 2 c; or make your own beans and use those)
2 c vegetables, diced (I used about 1 c frozen artichoke hearts from TJ’s, 1/4 c diced carrots, 1/3 c broccoli, 1/3 c Brussels sprouts quartered, 1/4 c canned corn)
1 Tbsp Chipotle Seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Chipotle)
1/2 c water
Optional spicy/heat seasonings, to taste: cayenne, chili powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper (Add as much spice and heat as you like)
Optional seasonings/flavorings: salt, cumin, garlic, nutritional yeast, ground mustard seeds
Add the beans to a foil lined 9 x 9 pan (or similar). Add the vegetables over the top and then add the water. Sprinkle the seasonings of your choice over the top and bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until the water has mostly reduced and the vegetables look roasted and done. Add more water during the cooking process if the vegetables are looking too dry.
Meals like this aren’t rocket science. None of the ones I make ever are.
It used things I already had on hand from the beans, to the frozen veggies, to the fresh veggies in the bottom of the refrigerator drawer that needed to be used up.
After a little doctoring up, and baking, we dug in.
I loved the artichoke hearts and Brussels sprouts in this. They gave a nice texture and some chew to the dish rather than just plain ‘ole beans. Plus I like to add veggies to everything. I’m not a ‘Sneaky Chef’ with adding veggies; I’m pretty overt.
The blackstrap molasses, if you’re using it, gives a really rich flavor to the food and gives that traditional “baked beans” flavor without having to actually bake the beans for hours which is the case with most traditional baked beans recipes.
I wanted these beans more spicy than typical baked beans and the seasonings I used did the trick.
One pan, and 45 minutes later, from start to finish and dinner was served.
And I only had 1 little pan to wash and because I lined it with foil, there was virtually no cleanup!
I put the leftovers into a Tupperware and we had them for lunch the next day. Loved it.
Related recipes you may enjoy:
1. What are your go-to easy meals for busy school nights, work nights, weeknights?
Now that the weather is cooling off, I feel like firing up my oven and roasting some things again.
Who knows, I may even make some soup or (vegan) chili. Anything that I can get a couple meals out of, i.e. planned leftovers, I am a fan of
Normally though, everything we eat is based on fresh produce and lots of plants:
a big salad with lots of raw or lightly steamed veggies (whatever is in season, on sale, and on hand)
side of bread/pasta/rice/quinoa
maybe some fruit
And that’s that. Not complicated.
You will never see me making something too tricky for dinner. Or, okay, ever.
The shorter the required ingredients, the better! I just cannot deal with complicated meal prep after a long day. I’m tired, Skylar’s hungry and so am I, Scott’s en route home, and the quicker I can get dinner on the table, the better.
2. Do you like beans? Favorite way to eat or make them?
Scott’s not really a huge fan but he eats them. Or starves.
Not really, but ya know. After over a decade of me doing the cooking and him doing the eating-of-what-is-served, he’s come around to everything from beans to Brussels’s sprouts to quinoa to beets. Yes, my meat and potatoes guy from Chicago eats lots of plants. And beans. And I actually think he likes them but just doesn’t want to quite admit it.
I like beans but my gut tolerates edamame much better.
Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you…
We’ve all been there with beans, right?
P.S. Reminder for the 500 Business Cards Giveaway. Tip for all Bloggers: having cards to pass out and promote your blog with is so helpful. You can help people remember your blog name and details with business cards.