Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Your Ordinary Baked Beans!

This meal was made with things I already had in my house! I pat myself on the back for using what I have and saving those precious dollars. This dish was inspired by the Chipotle White Beans recipe from the blog "101 Cookbooks". In her version she makes her own beans and adds a spicy chipotle tomato sauce and fresh kale. I substituted canned pinto beans because that's what I had on hand. They held up fairly well to the cooking process. Cannelini beans are a little more fragile, so I might steer clear of those. For the kale I used frozen spinach (be sure to squeeze all the moisture out before throwing it in with the beans). The sauce was something I had made the night before. You basically just throw everything together, top with feta cheese and bake it for 25 minutes, so this dish was super simple.

It was also delicious (that's right I said delicious, delicious, delicious)! The beans were warm and hearty, with a nice saltiness provided by the feta. The spinach added great texture and a slight bitterness to contrast the sweetness of the tomatoes. The garlic and red chilli flakes added a nice kick. I also drizzled a cilantro pesto over the top to give it an extra brightness. Another great dish for a cold winter day.

Baked Beans with Spinach in a spicy tomato sauce

Ingredients for sauce:
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)

Ingredients for rest of dish:
1 package frozen spinach
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/3 c olive oil


To make the sauce, pour olive oil into a saucepan and bring heat up to medium. Saute minced garlic cloves for 1-2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook spinach according to directions on package. Squeeze off all excess moisture. Then add beans, spinach, and sauce to a 9 in pie plate. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.
To make pesto, place a couple bunches of cilantro, garlic, and oil in food processor. Drizzle over top of baked beans. Enjoy!

2 out of 3 JAMs

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