Monday, 10 November 2014

Easy Cowboy Beans

We love cowboy beans here.  It is a great cheat meal before heading out to late afternoon/evening groups with awkward start times! 

If you look out for the economy brand of kidney beans, they are sometimes preserved in water with calcium chloride.  You can use this liquid in your recipes to get the calcium benefit for free.  As the liquid is usually a bean-thickened gloop, it helps to thicken your stew too.

We serve the beans in a variety of ways.  The accompanying carbohydrate tends to come in the form of serving the beans over jacket potatoes, over rice, over thick toasted bread, with garlic bread, with pitta or other flatbread.  The most usual and, we think, best side greens are diced avocado (really easy, as no cooking is involved at all!) or leafy greens such as baby spinach in the warmer months, or more often, steamed cabbage.

The beans are full of protein but you can also add mushrooms or chopped sausage to add protein and interest; we sometimes do.  More usually though, the basic recipe goes like this:

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
2-3 onions, sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smooth mustard (Dijon or American, depending on taste)
1 tsp garlic powder
Good pinch of ground black pepper
400g tin of baked beans
400g tin of red kidney beans, including the water
400g tin of chopped tomatoes or 500g of passata

Cook the onion in oil for a couple of minutes until softened.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Simmer until heated through.

* Costs around £1.12 altogether, prices from Asda 10/11/14

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