Savory Baked Beans (with sweet option in notes)

I adore baked beans – sweet ones – so I had to figure out a way to make them taste good without the added inflammatory and caloric additions of sweetener.  These came out spectacularly savory and delicious.  Organic products aid in gaining the extraSavory Baked Beans flavor that the sweet usually masks.  If you still want a touch of sweetness, check out the note at the bottom.

I used a 2-qt casserole and ended up with splatter in the oven.  You might want to use a large dish to avoid that.

Without further ado – here’s the recipe!

SAVORY BAKED BEANS

  • 4 cans mostly drained organic pinto beans
  • 1 15-oz can organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp hickory smoke seasoning
  • 3/8 tsp organic dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 2 tsp organic onion powder
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 c. chopped organic onion
  • 3 lg organic garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c water, as needed (see picture at bottom for how soupy it should look before baking)

Mix all in a large covered (this can be foil) casserole dish, adding water if things look fairly dry.  Bake at 375 degrees for 75-90 minutes, or until onions are soft enough for your tastes. To speed the baking process up some, you could saute the onions in the 1/4 c of water first.  

Note: if you want sweet baked beans, add 1-4 T. maple syrup, or, perhaps, 1 T. molasses and 1-3 T. maple syrup.  You can also use some applesauce along with the maple syrup to sweeten it more healthfully.  You can’t even tell after it is baked!  It got the thumbs-up from my fussiest eater.Savory Baked Beans uncooked

Cheesy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

I was going to make baked potatoes and have bunches of toppings from which everyone could choose.  Then I remembered how much my husband hates “working” to “prepare” his food.  If it doesn’t hop onto his plate ready for immediate transfer to his mouth with no visible effort on his part, then he’s not really interested ~ especially if it’s a work day (he’s in construction and works hard all day.)  And he doesn’t like baked potatoes that much even if I spoiled him and fixed it for him.  So…scratch that idea.

Next idea.  Some kind of scalloped potatoes.  They went over very well.  And no one had to “fix” their own.  😉

I made these the day before so that when we came home from church, they would be in the automatic oven already toasty and ready for us to sit down to eat.  I baked them for 45 minutes at 350° on Friday, then the next day I set the timer for another 45 minutes at 375°.  We got home a little early and I began to wonder if they would get done fast enough, so I cranked the oven up to 400° for the last half hour.  They were hot all the way through – but not crispy on the edges at all (like I prefer!)

Per usual, this makes A LOT!  It’s perfect to take to a potluck, or a big family get together, or so you can have leftovers the next night (if you don’t have a human 17-yr-old vacuum like I do.)  Or you could cut the recipe in half if your family hates leftovers.  Another option is to split the recipe into 2 separate pans and share with another family who is having a tough time, is ill, or just brought home a new baby (like my son and daughter-in-law just did ~ making me a 1st-time grandma!)

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

  • 1 onion (at least baseball sized or larger), cut up into large chunks
  • 1 c. nutritional yeast flakes (NOT baking yeast)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (more to sprinkle on top, if desired)
  • 2 lg. garlic cloves
  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 3-4 drops hickory smoke liquid
  • 1/4 c. melted virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk (not vanilla)
  • 5 lbs. boiled, peeled potatoes

Preheat oven to 400°.  Dice or slice the cooked potatoes and place in a 4-qt casserole.  (Mine ended up not quite sliced OR diced, because I left the whole potatoes boiling too long and a large number of them fell apart as I sliced them.)

Whiz the remaining ingredients, except the non-dairy milk, in a high-powered blender until smooth.  Add the milk and whiz briefly just to stir.  Pour over the potatoes and gently mix things together so that the potatoes get coated with the sauce.  Sprinkle with extra paprika, if desired.

Cover with lid or foil and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours (depending on how crispy you would like it to be.)

Optional:  Bake for 45 minutes, cool, and refrigerate until the next day.  Then reheat for 30-45 minutes at 400°.  If you are using an automatic oven, do calculate in some extra oven-heating time and add it to your 30-45 minutes.

NOTE:  If you choose to halve this recipe into a 9″x13″ pan, please remember to decrease the cooking time or the temperature of the oven.

Unburgers

When I was 18 I worked in a health food store in western New York called Ye Olde Nut Tree.  They served something called Unburgers that Jean Young created when she worked there.  They were made daily for the snack bar.  (The “batter” kept in the frig. for a day or two.)  Hard-working, non-vegetarian, construction workers would come in just because they loved them.  They were served on buns with alfalfa sprouts, tomato, etc., or on split open pita bread with cream cheese, avocado, cucumbers, and alfalfa sprouts, topped with an oil and vinegar dressing.

I made Unburgers so many times that I had inadvertently memorized the recipe.  When I quit working there, I wrote my memorized recipe down and made it for my growing family.  Unfortunately, the original recipe contained 9 eggs!!  Needless to say, I had to turn them into a vegan version when we gave up eggs. 

The recipe makes 12-16 patties, but they freeze marvelously.

The Nut Tree (the shortened name) exchanged owners and names, moved, and eventually went out of business.  For any of you who used to go there to eat lunch, now you can make your own at home.

Unburgers

  • 1 pkg. extra firm Morniu silken tofu
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. Savorex, Vegex, or Marmite paste (from original recipe)
  •                OR (my preferred method)
  •                2 T. Brewer’s yeast flakes
  •                1 1/2 tsp. Spike seasoning
  •                1/2 capful Liquid Hickory Smoke
  • 1 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 3 c. quick oats (you may use half rolled oats for a chewier texture ~ for gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats)
  • 1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds

Whiz in blender everything except walnuts, oats, and seeds until fairly smooth.  Add walnuts – allow blender to run until no large pieces remain.  Pour into large bowl and stir in oats and sunflower seeds.  Let stand for 5 or more minutes.

Preheat electric griddle to 250-275 degrees F.  (I suppose you could use a square stove-top griddle, but you couldn’t cook as many at a time on it.  Use medium-low heat.)  Drop large scoops of mix onto griddle and flatten into patties.  (Sometimes this isn’t a quick process – be patient.)  When browned (about 8-10 minutes), turn them over and continue cooking another 3-5 minutes.  If you flip them too soon, they will be gooey inside.

Serve with gravy, on sandwiches, or alone with guacamole and slices of tomato on top.  Try one crumbled onto a salad.

Makes 12 large patties, or 16 medium patties.  Freezes well with waxed paper between layers.