Friday, October 12, 2012

Barbecue Baked Beans w/ Crushed Pineapple & Quorn Grounds

Have you noticed the earthy hues of leaves slowly and meticulously painting the landscape like the delicate brushstrokes of a painter's brush?  Have you been unexpectedly hit in the face by a cold north wind?  Are you rearranging your schedule to accommodate Sunday night football?  Maybe so, maybe not.  Regardless, these are all telltale signs of autumn unfolding here in Maryland.  I am feeling mixed emotions as I long for the dog days of summer and crave for the warming comfort of fall foods.  Thankfully, baked beans are the perfect antidote for my momentary blues, perfectly marrying summer cookouts and fall bashes.  

I have a kind of special relationship with baked beans.  It was my first signature dish and, growing up, I was the Chief Engineer of Baked Beans in my house.  I can vividly recall my intrigue with mom's process as she sauteed onions and bell peppers and cooked them in a cast-iron skillet with ground beef on the stovetop.  The ground beef mixture was then transferred to a pot with canned baked beans, brown sugar, barbecue, honey, and yellow mustard and slowly simmered into a sticky, sweet reduction of beans. Hmmm, delish!  I always knew if I could cook these delicious baked beans, I'd never have to worry about going hungry.

This version is a vegetarian homage to the baked beans that my mother taught me to cook many years ago.

Barbecue Baked Beans w/ Crushed Pineapple & Quorn Grounds

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-12 oz bag Quorn Meatless & Soy-Free Grounds
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1-14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-8 oz can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, partially drained
  • 1-28 oz can good quality Vegetarian Baked Beans
  • 3/4 cup hickory smoke barbecue sauce 

Preheat oven to 275ยบ.  In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauteed the red onions, red bell peppers, and garlic until soft, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the Quorn meatless grounds and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  If using a pot, transfer the mixture to a large ovenproof dish.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. 

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