Food

Food Porn: The Beauty of Baked Beans

Lingering in many of our cupboards are tins of baked beans. They normally make an appearance on that ‘I cannot be bothered to cook anything else’ day. For some, this every day, for others, this day is less frequent, but for all, this day is a sad day, an unsatisfying meal day, a baked bean day.

However, with a dash spice and this ‘beanspiration’, your boring baked bean dishes could become fabulous favourites.

BBQ Beans

Serves 4

Perfect for a scrumptious side, a garlic bread dip, or a tasty bowlful, these BBQ Beans are a flavoursome alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 100g bacon- cut into lardons without fat
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tins of baked beans
  • 3 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 20g tortillas
  • Grated cheese (amount according to personal preference)

Method:

  1. Fry onion and bacon in the oil until golden.
  2. Add the baked beans and BBQ sauce until heated through.
  3. Top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Bean appetite.

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Cheesy Bean Fajitas

Serves 4 (based on 2 tortillas each)

This dish is a great sharing option if hosting dinner for your housemates, or even to enjoy individually for a tasty treat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into thin strips (beef also works well)
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 35g fajita seasoning (or salt and pepper)
  • 1 green pepper- cored, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper- cored, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • 8 warmed flour tortillas
  • Grated cheese (amount according to personal preference)
  • 8 tbsp soured cream (optional)

Method:

  1. Sprinkle the half of the fajita seasoning on both sides of the chicken and brush with some. Toss the remaining fajita seasoning in with the peppers and onions.
  2. Fry the chicken until cooked through- break the meat in the middle to ensure it is not pink. Just over half way through fry the onion and peppers in the remainder of the oil.
  3. Once vegetables are cooked, add baked beans to the pan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
  4. Put some beans onto your tortillas and top with chicken, grated cheese and drizzle with soured cream and serve. Beanily brilliant!

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Beany Chilli Con Carne

Serves 2-4

A great one for a cold Winters day to bring a bit of spice to your life.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 2 chopped red chillies
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • 400g chopped tomatoes

Method:

  1. Over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic to hot oil and cook until golden brown.
  2. Increase the heat to high and add the minced beef and stir until browned all over. Stir in tomato puree, chilli powder, chillies and mixed herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and baked beans and bring it to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve as appropriate and beanjoy!

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Curried Beans

A simple yet extremely effective boring bean alternative, perfect for a spicy side or a delectable dip. All you have to do is to add half a teaspoon of chilli powder and honey to one tin of beans. Baked bean beauty at its best.

Budget Bean Blunders?

Extra value baked beans are not always as delicious as the lovely (yet much more expensive) Heinz brand. However, you can make your budget beans taste wonderful simply by adding half a spoon of sugar and a knob of butter. Beanutiful.

The Baked Bean shortlist

If this still isn’t beany enough for you, here is some more beanspiration..

  • Cheese and bean toasties
  • Jacket potatoes with cheese and beans
  • Full English breakfast (with beans)
  • Rice mixed with beans
  • Pasta mixed with beans
  • And not forgetting the old classic, beans on toast

Heather Corser

For more Food Porn, click here.

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Image credits: jeffreyw, Alpha, Phil and Pam Gradwell via Flikr. 

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