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Beans on Toast

April 12, 2010

It was a struggle to go back to work today. After such an awesome weekend, sitting at my desk working on Excel spreadsheets is not my idea of fun! However, the sun was shining outside (much better than Friday’s downpour) so at least I was in a good mood. Or maybe it was the 5 cups of coffee that did the trick? Or thinking about my rad neon pink leotard:

Yup, it was definitely the leotard.

One of my favorite breakfasts growing up was beans on toast. Actually, it wasn’t just for breakfast. I could eat this at any meal of the day, and often did. A special treat for a weekend breakfast, or something fast I could make myself for lunch, or a weeknight dinner that was simple and delicious. Our go-to baked bean was always Heinz vegetarian brand. Not until I was out of college did I once open up a can of baked beans and find a piece of bacon. I thought the can had gone bad, until I realized it was bacon and became undeniably happy.

I have been yearning for a crock pot for months now, and continuously come across baked bean crock pot recipes. Plus, now living in Beantown (yes, named for baked beans!) I’ve been told that I have not lived until I have eaten baked beans homemade. This afternoon in my caffeine-induced frenzy I craved the warm and comfort of my favorite beans muddled with crispy, buttery toast. And realized that I could probably make them myself. Without a crock pot. On the stove. Flavia coffee, apparantly, works wonders.

There is no way I can call this a classic recipe, or even call the result Boston Baked Beans. These beans, in fact, were no even baked. But what came together in under 20 minutes amazingly tasted just like the stuff from the can, without the additives and preservatives, leaving my mind and my stomach very happy indeed.

Stovetop “Baked” Beans on Toast with Spinach and Poached Egg (serves 2)

1 can of white beans (navy, northern, or cannellini)

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon tamari

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

4 large spinach leaves

2 slices of toast (I used gluten free)

In a small saucepan, mix the beans, ketchup, tamari, water, paprika, chili powder, agave nectar and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and let reduce until the sauce forms a paste, about 5 minutes. Stir very carefully, as too much stirring will break apart the beans and you want to keep them whole. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Turn down the stove to low.

In a separate small saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a boil. Using my poached egg method, poach the two eggs for 3 minutes.

Place 2 spinach leaves on top of each slice of toast. Top with the beans and then the poached egg. Season with salt and pepper.

This was a nice, light meal. My favorite part was definitely the beans. I have never made something from scratch that I so usually eat from a can, and to me it was a wonder how a few simple ingredients can produce such a familiar taste. Especially in such a short amount of time. The addition of the egg and spinach is different from my childhood beans on toast, which was normally served topped with cheddar cheese (also an amazing combination). These two additions added a sophistication, for a more grown up version of a favorite meal.

What is your favorite way to eat beans?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 7:25 am

    I’ve never had homemade baked beans, but always wanted to try them. Basically I always wanted someone to make them for me.

  2. April 13, 2010 8:43 am

    I always thought beans on toast was about the weirdest dish… but after looking at yours, I think I can eat that! My favorite ways of making beans are either in the crockpot all day long with a ton of spice so that the house smells wonderful or really fast in the pressure cooker with a ton of spices.

  3. April 14, 2010 9:05 am

    Oh my goodness, Sophie! I looove baked beans. I’m from Massachusetts and have a very clear idea of the importance of a good pot o’ beans. I love the sweet smokiness! But I too usually used canned- Bush’s Boston recipe to be precise. Just delicious. And I’ve always wanted to make my own but assumed that it would take forever and a day to slow cook them! I’m so glad to hear that it’s relatively easy to make some flavorful ones!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I love a good meal of hotdogs and beans and my mom would be so happy to have some homemade ones!!

    I love hearing about your childhood. But I have a question- do you have an British accent??

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