Here’s a way to up-level the almost cliché of budget meals, for Brits at least; beans on toast. My way to have a gourmet dinner after a long day of work.
To make, you’ll need:
- 1 tin of baked beans in tomato sauce
- 1 tin/ carton of butterbeans
- 2tbs tomato purée
- 1tbs sundried tomato paste (optional)
- 1tbs dried rosemary
- 1tsp chipotle chilli powder
- 1tbs smoked paprika
- 2tsp garlic infused oil
- Splash of liquid smoke
- Sprinkle of smoked salt (optional), (I used Falk smoked salt flakes)
For the toast:
- Any bread really, but I’d recommend a nice crusty sourdough
- Vegan butter
The recipe couldn’t be any easier, start by heating your pan on the hob on medium. I’d recommend putting the oven on around the same time, to a temperature of 180°C. You could do the whole dish on the hob, but if you’re using a cast iron Dutch oven, like myself then I advise you should finish them in the oven. As I’m using tinned butterbeans, they can have a strange aftertaste to them and by putting them in the oven to finish, removes that taste and also concentrates the sauce to make a more gourmet dish.
Once the pan is heated up add in your baked beans, just as you would if you were making conventional ‘beans on toast’ and add in the tomato purée, paste and the array of spices. Stir and leave the spices a couple of minutes to cook-out into the tomato sauce. During this time, you should open and drain the butterbeans, but crucially don’t throw the liquid, or aquafaba away- you can use it to thicken up sauces, soups etc.
Add in the drained beans and stir them through the sauce. Leave for a minute or two on the hob before placing the pan in the oven. Place them on a timer for 8 minutes. Whilst the beans are doing their thing in the oven, get the toast ready and buttered. When it’s time to take the beans out, stir throughly and serve. Finish with a sprinkle of smoked salt. I’d recommend pairing the hearty dish with an equally robust IPA.
Feel free to be creative with this recipe, why not add in a pinch of onion powder, a spoonful of mustard or even a splash of beer, the possibilities are endless!
Here’s an easy recipe for some tasty ruby red patties, perfect with a zingy balsamic dressed salad.
- 2 tins of butterbeans, drained
- 1 Roasted beetroot, grated
- 1tbs lemon juice
- 100g breadcrumbs
- Glug of garlic oil
- 1tsp dill oil (optional)
- Handful of fresh dill, chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper
To roast the beetroot (I do this in advance with many different types of veg when I have a big bag or when I’m roasting other things) drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25 minutes on 180 and then leave to cool. Drain the beans but keep the aquafaba. I tend to sieve mine over a cup or bowl.
Place the beans into a bowl and mash them until they’re mostly broken down. Combine with the other ingredients and mix thoroughly (hands are better than spoons!). Form them into patties and place them on a greaseproof lined tray, leave to firm up in the fridge for (min) 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When ready, place in a 160 oven and cook for around 10 minutes on each side (turn and repeat). Take out and leave to cool. They aren’t done yet but the cooling helps keep them together. When you’re ready to eat them, fry them in an oiled pan on a medium heat for a few minutes each side just to colour. The frying will bring out all the lovely redness of the beetroot. Place them back in a low oven to heat through and serve.
Last night I served mine in a sourdough roll with thick slices of avocado and my Vegan smoked salmon, available here. It goes well with roasted new potatoes and my beetroot and caraway martini, also available here.
Here’s a quick recipe to make when you’re stumped to rustle up something. It’s great for entertaining and a Vegan twist on a Danish classic!
You will need:
- Half a roasted butternut squash, de-skinned
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 tsp garlic paste/1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 20g rye bread crumbs
- 1 tin of butter beans, drained
- 1tbsp dried parsley
- 1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Generous amount of cracked, black pepper
To make start by quartering and deseeding the butternut squash then place in a deep baking tray. Drizzle with vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and cover with foil and bake in the oven at 180° for around forty minutes. You can roast the squash in the bottom of the oven when you’re cooking other things – basically, roasted squash is a really versatile ingredient, especially in Autumn and Winter, so bung one when it’s convenient.
Check when they’re done by poking with a fork – they should be really soft. Take them out and allow them to cool (so they’re okay to handle) and save half the squash for a future recipe (soup is good). When they’re cool, scoop out the flesh of the other half and add to a mixing bowl.
Soften the chopped onion in a little oil and add to the mix. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mash with a masher until the beans are broken up and not too big. You can freeze whatever mix you don’t use or otherwise allow to rest in the fridge for a day or two. Form the mix into round, meatball sized balls and shallow fry in a little vegan butter until browned on all sides.
Serve with some boiled potatoes and a simple cucumber salad/pickle;
- Half a cucumber, sliced finely
- 4tbsp sugar
- 4tbsp white wine vinegar
- some mustard seeds; some black peppercorns
- dill, chopped finely
- a few bay leaves and a splash of water.
Make sure the cucumber is covered and leave to do its thing for at least an hour or two, longer if possible – it’ll keep in the fridge for AGES).
My recent affinity with Jackfruit continues with this recipe for a vegan alternative for Spanish Stew, full of the flavours and textures of the hearty Mediterranean classic!
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes,
- 1 large onion, chopped,
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced,
- 2/3 roasted peppers,
- 1 tin of butter beans,
- 2 tbs pimentón,
- 1 tin of green Jackfruit,
- 1 tsp tomato paste,
- 1 tsp chilli powder,
- 1 tbs dried rosemary,
- A splash of sherry,
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary,
- 125ml or a glass of red wine,
- 2/3 Bay Leaves,
To make the picada:
- 3tbs flaked almonds, toasted
- 2/3 slices of stale baguette
- 3tbs of the stew stock
Start off by frying the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. Add the tomato paste and cut the peppers into small pieces and add to the paste. Let it cook out then pour in the tomatoes and let it simmer while you prepare the Jackfruit.
Drain the Jack Fruit and the butter beans. Prepare the Jackfruit by cutting the flesh away from the hard, pineapple-like core. Add them, along with the beans, to the sauce.
Then, simply add the spices, the red wine and season with salt and black pepper. Cover with up to 500ml of water and let it simmer while you prepare the picada. A picada is an essential accompaniment to Catalunian stews.
Start by toasting the almonds in a dry frying pan. Keep an eye on these as they burn easily. When they’re toasted take them off the heat. Add the almonds and the bread to a pestle & mortar and crush until they resemble rubble. Continuing to grind, add in the stock from the stew bit by bit until it resembles a thick paste.
Once this is done add it back into the stew and stir thoroughly. Next, place into an oven on 140°C and let it cook for 3 and half hours on a low heat. Once the time is up, take it out, leave to cool slightly and serve. Remember to take out the sprig of rosemary and bay leaves before serving!
Enjoy with some crusty sourdough and a glass of red wine (or a crisp cerveza as I did 😉 )