amazing maple beans

November 26, 2011

Every once in awhile we eat at Ruby Watchco since they are so good at accommodating other-than-meat-eating-tastes. Once they served me maple baked beans which were to die for. I’ve been dreaming of those beans ever since. Finally the other night I experimented and landed on a dish that made me smile with delight. Stew up this pot of amazing maple beans and be amazed – sweet, delectable, nourishing, and great on their own or as a side dish to grilled veggies and steamed greens. (Psssttt … the secret is Kozlik’s Amazing Maple Mustard. Pass it on.)

4 1/2 cups cooked beans, navy, kidney, adzuki, or any other type

3 tbsps olive oil

1 large sweet onion

3 tbsps blackstrap molasses

3 tbsps maple syrup

3 tbsps Kozlik’s Amazing Maple Mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

I cup stewed tomatoes

1 tsp sea salt

If cooking your own beans, soak for 8 hours, drain, place in a pot with fresh water, and cook until done. Then drain and set aside. If not, rinse and drain canned bean and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender and starting to brown. Add molasses, maple syrup, mustard, apple cider vinegar and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until flavours meld and the mixture reduces slightly. Add beans and sea salt to taste. Let simmer for another 20 – 30 minutes until beans are incorporated into the flavours of this dish and the house is filled with smell and you can’t wait any longer to eat them.

Serve in a big bowl with a hunk of hearty whole grain bread or as a side to steamed greens and grilled veggies.

blackened rice

March 26, 2011

This is best made along side the black bean stew since the cooking liquid from the black beans is what blackens the rice. It’s brilliant. As Deborah Madison says “The nutritious broth that remains from cooking black beans makes a flavourful, rich broth for cooking rice. Although motivated by common sense not to waste this delicious broth,  I was delighted to find that using the broth this way is also a Mexican tradition.”

2 tbsps olive oil

1/2 white onion, finely diced

1 1/4 cups white rice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp anise seeds (or ground fennel)

2 cups broth from cooked black beans


Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-high heat for 4 – 5 minutes. Add the rice, garlic, and anise and stir to coat the rice. Cook until it’s light gold, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is done, 15 to 18 minutes. Turn into a dish and garnish with  diced jalapeño chiles, chopped cilantro, or pico de gallo.