Posts Tagged 'kidney beans'

Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Salad

Mike and I tend to get really into TV shows after they’ve been on for a couple years.  Right now we are OBSESSED with parenthood and are working our way through the first season on Netflix.

I feel ridiculously behind the times that I’m just now watching this, but it’s so good I don’t care.  I love that it’s set in Berkeley (although clearly not filmed there), but it also already has me nervous about Ellie’s teenage years.

Speaking of Ellie, she’s officially crawling now.  Help me.

What I really want to call this is African Peanut Stew Salad.  I wanted the flavor of that, but the lightness of a salad, so I roasted some sweet potatoes and tossed them with fresh spinach and kidney beans.  For the dressing, I made a super simple tomato sauce (just butter, onion, and tomatoes), but added some peanut butter and curry powder.  When you pour the warm sauce over the salad, you get the spinach to wilt just the right amount.


3-Bean Slow Cooker Chili

I really don’t understand the obsession with slow cookers. Yeah, I use mine all the time to cook dried beans, but most main dish recipes either have way too much meat and processed food or just seem like they’d be really unappealing.

Chili is basically my one exception, though. The other day I wanted to see if I could make chili starting with dried beans, and I’m delighted to report that it worked beautifully! I was thrilled.

Ellie was thrilled, too.

Basically, I made a fairly standard chili recipe, but added a few extra cups of water. I started it on high for 2 hours, then turned it to low for 5. Because of the toxins in kidney beans, they need to boil for awhile, so cooking on low the full time is not a great idea, unless you’ve boiled the beans for awhile first.

Now that it’s officially Fall, get out your slow cooker, ditch the canned beans, and make a big pot of chili!


1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chopped chipotle chile en adobo
2/3 cup beer (I used amber ale)
15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried pinto beans
1 cup dried black beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 1/2 cups water
shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions, for garnish

Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, and chipotles, and mix well.

Transfer to a slow cooker, add all remaining ingredients, and stir well.

Cook on high for 2 hours, then turn to low and cook for an additional 5 hours. Taste and add salt or other seasonings if needed.

Serve with shredded cheese and green onions.

Stove-top “baked” beans


How could anyone read this post and not want to try them? (If you’d rather save yourself a click, it’s the Amateur Gourmet’s post on baked beans, which he says are “the best beans of your life”)

I have some issues with beans, though. It took me a really long time to figure out how to cook dried beans and not end up with either chalky little nuggets I couldn’t stomach, or a whole pot of flavorless mush. I tend to like canned beans, but I usually think baked beans are too sweet. So really, it wouldn’t take much to make these the best beans of my life.

I took some serious liberties with this recipe, because I don’t have a Dutch oven, I can’t find dried kidney beans, and I didn’t want to use bacon (or wait 6 WHOLE HOURS). But even with those rather significant changes, these really were fabulous (and I imagine that with the bacon, they would be even better).

Just sweet enough, and with a little bite, these beans held their shape and still got amazingly flavorful after just an hour and a half on top of the stove. I can promise you, you’ll never want to go back to canned baked beans again!

(inspired by Barefoot Contessa via Amateur Gourmet)

2 cans kidney beans
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp veg oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans, ketchup, maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
Turn heat down to low, so that the mixture simmers. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for an hour. If the beans begin to look dry, stir in some of the liquid from the cans.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Cook for an additional thirty minutes, then serve.


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