Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Minute Baked Beans for the Lazy/Organizationally Challenged Person

This total lazy cheater approach to baked beans came about because I got a last-minute craving for some sweet, smoky legumes to accompany the mac & cheese and garlicky greens I'd made for dinner. Since I hadn't planned ahead for this contingency (see above in re: lazy, last minute, etc.), and it was already almost 7pm, I took a quick look at the available supplies, considered the options, et voila: about an hour later, the idea had become reality! If I say so myself, the addition of mashed sweet potatoes was a stroke of genius. By the time the dish had been baked, they were unidentifiable as sweet potatoes, but they did something really nice to the sauce's flavor and texture, while adding nutritional value to an otherwise seat-of-the-pants, cupboard staple dish.

~ 2 large yams or sweet potatoes
~ 1 tbsp. oil
~ 1 large onion, chopped
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. chili powder
~ 1/2 tsp. each: salt, marjoram, thyme
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2-3 tsp. Liquid Smoke (or to taste)
~ 1/4 cup maple syrup
~ 2 tsp. hot sauce (or to taste)
~ 1 tbsp. each: prepared mustard, vegan Worcestershire sauce
~ 2 cans Heinz (or other brand) Baked Beans

~ Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven or microwave until soft. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
~ Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the onions are quite soft; about 10 minutes.
~ Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, then add all the remaining ingredients.
~ Combine thoroughly and pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish.
~ Bake, uncovered, at 350 for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
~ Serve hot!

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