Baked Beans with (Fake) Bacon

This is one of the easiest recipes ever. It’s perfect for a weeknight when you want something savory and delicious, but don’t feel like slaving over the stove for hours. This was originally someone else’s recipe, but I’ve modified it and added a few things to make it more savory and spicy.

Makes four heaping servings

Ingredients:

Two cans beans (any kind of bean will work)

Ketchup

Mustard

Brown sugar

Hot Sauce of choice (I use Frank’s)

One onion, diced

One bell pepper, seeded and diced

Trader Joe’s South African Spice (paprika, salt, basil)

Bacon or facon (I prefer Morning Star for facon), chopped

Canola oil or other tasteless oil for frying

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F. I use a toaster oven, but a regular oven will work great.

Drain the beans and rinse them with water. In a bowl, add equal parts of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar until the beans are completely coated. Taste and add more of anything that is missing. Add hot sauce and South African Spice to taste.

In a pan, fry onions and pepper until caramelized. The onions should progress through clear, light brown, and finally a rich brown. When the onions reach this darker brown (some black is OK), remove from heat.

While the veggies are frying, chop the bacon or facon and fry until the pieces are about halfway cooked. You don’t want them to be cooked all the way because you will be baking this dish.

Add everything to the bowl of beans and add more ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar to coat the veggies and the meat. Place in a deep cooking pan and cover with tin foil. Bake for one hour.

Eat!

Why it’s healthy:

Beans are an excellent source of protein, about 8g protein per can. They are also full of fiber, which helps digestion. They have a low glycemic load (meaning they don’t cause your blood sugar to spike and crash, so you stay full longer). They also contain folate, zinc, and other minerals.

If you use the facon instead of real bacon, this recipe is really low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Bell peppers have a super low glycemic load and contain tons of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants (they prevent cancer and tissue mutation).

Onions help support the immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties.

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