Baked Beans with Mint, Peppers & Tomatoes

by Sherri Koehler on March 14, 2011

For the past two years the “Recipes for Health” section in the New York Times has included a feature on vegan recipes for Lent. I didn’t get around to trying any last year, but this year’s dishes really caught my eye. I have been surprised by the huge amount of oil these dishes call for, but I honestly think they can be made without that much added oil.

Tonight we decided to give the lead dish of the article a try: Baked Beans with Mint, Peppers and Tomatoes.

Really, this is a three-chilies dish when you look at the dried, hot chilie added to the simmering beans, the paprika, and the chopped sweet bell pepper. The result was really delicious. Perhaps I should have left it in the oven longer than the 45 minutes or so, but we were famished. Longer cooking would just let the peppers and onions cook down further; the beans were tender and perfect. Honestly, after dinner I found myself standing next to the Dutch oven eating spoonfuls of these delicious baked beans!

I made a few other changes to the recipe as written, and I’d like to make a few more. That said, I’ll post a final recipe of my variation some other time. Here’s a quick recap of my changes.

  • We used pinto beans, we had them on hand.
  • I didn’t have 2 medium yellow onions on hand so I used 1 yellow and 1 red
  • I did NOT use the 1/4 cup of oil, I used only a spritz of spray, high-heat canola oil in the cast iron skillet
  • I used Muir Glen’s diced, fire-roasted tomatoes; delicious flavor!
  • To my horror I discovered we were out of sweet paprika, so I used sweet, smoked Spanish paprika instead. This added a really marvelous smokey note that went well with the fire-roasted tomatoes
  • In fact, I added a full teaspoon more of the paprika.
  • I added MORE mint, probably 3 tablespoons. If I’d had more fresh mint, I would have added it in. At least 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fresh chopped mint would be great.
  • I think some fresh, chopped parsley would also be good.
  • I didn’t add any salt, just that added by the canned tomato products. Easier to salt at table if needed.
  • In the future I plan to serve these delicious beans on a bed of steamed kale, collards, or other greens.
  • I might cut the onions, especially, and possibly the bell peppers, into a smaller dice so it cooks down more quickly into the sauce.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: