My two-miler this morning did not go as planned. In fact, it didn’t go. If I may share a humbling anecdote with you, let me just say that I spent this rainy Aloha Saturday morning enjoying some raisin bread and coffee, and some hours later, pigging out on leftover pizza and manapua for lunch. I won’t apologize for it and I won’t make excuses, but if you’d like to hear a couple, I might mention the domestic disturbance across the street at 4 am, or the horribly terrifying moment when I thought my husband was a serial killer.
Let me explain, because it’s pretty funny today, but it was understandably tragic in a half-roused state at 2 in the morning. I sometimes sleep in our room with my husband, and sometimes I co-sleep with Seba, because I think we all sleep better when we co-sleep. Last night, I went to sleep in our bedroom, and was awaken a couple hours later when I heard one of Seba’s toys turn on and start to play music. So I rolled over, looked at the sleeping beauty next to me, and decided to get up to turn it off. Then I heard footsteps, and fully expecting to see Seba round the corner, I see the shadow of a man with a flashlight coming toward me. I screamed. He screamed. And after we realized we were screaming at each other, and after a string of Spanish curses from the mister, we laughed. And laughed. And. Could absolutely not fall asleep for a while.
I don’t know how he didn’t wake me when he got up, but it was him that accidentally kicked the toy into “play” mode, and when he couldn’t figure out how to turn it off, he was bringing it down the hallway to hide it in the bathroom, flashing lights and all. May this be a warning for you child-free families! And for the rest of you, I’m sure you got a nice belly-laugh out of that, because I’m betting you can relate with similar stories.
So as I mentioned, this morning, I ate. And I cooked in preparation for a barbecue get-together happening later this afternoon. And I fully plan on engaging in an embarrassingly immodest feast tonight. But it’s okay, because starting tomorrow, I’ll be doing the smoothie thing, right? I was somewhat redeemed for slacking off this morning when, somewhere in between noshing sessions, I spent some chilly and rainy moments in the pool with the guys. And isn’t family what’s really important?
Days like today do have a purpose, though, and that purpose is something I trust you will be very, very pleased. I mentioned a barbecue, and when we barbecue, I obviously volunteer to be in charge of bringing vegan goodies. Otherwise, it’s carrot sticks and hummus for dinner. Yesterday I was struck with an overwhelming thought as Seba and I made our way through the crowded aisles of Costco, and on a whim, I picked up a 25-pound bag of pinto beans. Sounds exciting, right? Just wait, it gets better! I turned them into delicious vegan “baked” beans!
It’s been ages since I’ve had the canned baked beans I used to devour in Kentucky, so I totally played this one by ear, and added things until I had a product that was as delicious as I remember. I soaked the beans overnight, so they didn’t take long to prepare at all, and there’s no baking required for these little guys, either. I know you appreciate that on a hot summer’s day! I hope you enjoy these!
Vegan “Baked” Beans
3 cups pinto or other small white beans
1 1/4 can tomato paste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1-2 tbsp. garlic powder (I would rather have used 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, but I spaced out and forgot, so I added this as an afterthought!)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4-1 tbsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. molasses
1/8 tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup soaking water (you may use more or less, depending on how you like your baked beans)
Once the beans are relatively soft but not completely cooked through, drain most of the water, but save it on the side for later. Lower heat to a simmer and add tomato paste, dijon, and spices. If desired, you can brown the onions and raw garlic, if using, to tame them a little before adding them to the beans, but I love them raw, so I added the onions directly, because they’ll continue cooking for a while anyway. Add water little by little as the beans continue to cook so they don’t dry out! Add the molasses and more water, if needed, and continue to simmer until beans have softened and the flavors have come out completely. Serve warm or cold.
I love how sweet these are, even though it’s very low-sugar. Since cutting out dairy, I think I’ve become more sensitive to sweets, so those of you that are used to sweet baked beans (Southerners, I’m looking at you!), you might have to tweak these a little, but these are just right for me, and they have been male-approved by two very hungry generations of bean fiends.
*Someday I’ll be able to take a decent photo with frilly props, but until then, I’ll be posting these beauties! 😉