Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stove Top Baked Beans

I have to admit something....

You probably already know and J will be the first to bring this to my attention:

I have a hard time with moderation.

I have a tendency to overdo everything (besides cleaning my closet and our house). When I get something I like, there are no forces strong enough to stop me. Huge runs, epic bike rides, two yoga classes a day for weeks, a bottle of wine everyday of the week that ends in Y. My closet bursts when daylight hits it. I can eat 5 pounds of grapes in one sitting.

I am getting better. I take rest days, I get out single serving portions and try like hell to stick to that amount. I am even tackling the idea of one glass of wine rather than one bottle. Trying. Moderation. Even moderation in moderation. I have gained 10 pounds and I am okay with it. There I said it. I am a work in progress.

I am working on it..... truly.

We all have our battles, they come in all shapes and sizes, some are more public than others.

Keep up the good fight and sleep well at night.

I have grown up a little here and there. I know I face a struggle for the rest of my life, I can deal with it. I am a bit more open about it these days and can talk about eating disorders, food and the many roles it plays in our lives, healthy or not. I am very blessed to have a loving partner that has helped me out of the woods and keeps me in check. He keeps it as real as humanly possible. I graciously learned that I am a very powerful and the power that we all poses can be used to fight the good fight just as easy as it can be incredibly self destructing.

Fight the good fight my friends or else you are spinning your wheels and wasting precious time.

I use the energy I once used to run 2 hours on a treadmill and obsess over counting meaningless calories to find food that I love, food that makes me feel good and I truly enjoy the process of discovery and reinventing myself and then sharing it with the lovely people around me.

Here is a much happier and healthier Michelle. It feels good, I feel good.

With all that once misguided energy I now find healthy outlets and pour myself and passion into it. A while back I came across the "Meatless Monday" campaign. Brilliant I thought, helping people stay healthy through moderation of meat consumption. A simple strategy that is easily attainable. I know first hand that habits are hell to break and cold turkey is not very pleasant. Taking one day a week to eat plant based diet is simple with the right tools, summer months make finding great fruits and vegetables enjoyable and a few good recipes, even my meat and potatoes dad will never notice that there isn't meat. I have learned that being easy on my body is the greatest gift I can give myself.

Stove-top Baked Beans Recipe

Adapted from Simply Recipes  

Baked beans are a sweet comfort food for me. I never thought that I would enjoy the rich dish without the savory kiss of bacon. This simple dish will warm the belly and you will not miss the meat, my Texan agreed.

Serves 4


  • 1 lb dry small white beans, such as cannellini or navy beans (or 3 15-ounce cans of white beans)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or cayenne pepper if you don't have Tabasco)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  onion, finely chopped

1 If you are using canned beans, put beans in a large pot and skip to step 4. Put dry beans in a large pot. Cover with water by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, bring beans to a boil, remove from heat and let cool for an hour.

2 Drain the beans and rinse them. Add them to a large pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Insert cloves into onion halves (so they can be easily found and discarded later), add to pot. Add garlic and bay leaf. Heat to a simmer and let cook for 1 to 2 hours, until beans are just tender. (Older beans will take longer to cook). Add boiling water to beans if they begin to look dry while cooking.

3 Remove onion, cloves, and bay leaf. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.

4 In a separate bowl, mix together the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard powder, Tabasco sauce, and pepper. Add mixture to beans and stir to combine.  Bring the beans to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes until thick. Add more salt to taste.

Serve hot, topped with chopped onions.

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