Warm Belly Beans, One Pot for a Crowd
I grew up eating my great-aunt's "Texas Beans" recipe regularly. Her recipe is one that my extended family has enjoyed, shared and loved for as long as I can remember. I love that recipe, but over the years I have made changes to make it a little healthier, adding more vegetables and using less sugar, but keeping all the wholesome goodness that was in the original recipe.
This version I have created for you is great for a healthy and warm family dinner at home, made in large batches and frozen to pull out as a last minute meal, made as meal prep for a busy week at work and school lunches for the kids! But I have to say my most favorite time to eat these Warm Belly Beans is in the woods on a snowy afternoon, warmed over a fire after snowshoeing. My husband has taken a pot of this with him to shed parties with his friends as well, and it's always a hit.
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Beans are a staple in our home, packed with protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals that are essential to overall health. They are also very filling and I find that after eating a meal that includes beans I am less likely to look for snacks afterwards. Warm fulfilling goodness to keep your belly happy.
"There is good evidence that they (beans) can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut."
For the holidays: Lets make the load a little lighter this holiday season and prep these beans ahead of time. They freeze well, so you can make this a couple weeks in advance, freeze it, then take it out to reheat when you have company coming. Maybe a nice hot lunch after playing in the snow with the kids, or after watching a holiday parade! This means less work for you the day of, and you will only have the one pot to clean up afterward! You deserve to enjoy your holiday gatherings without feeling pressure or stress, let me help you with that. Let's make these Warm Belly Beans together!
Warm Belly Beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 375 grams bacon
- 1-2 spicy Italian sausages, omit if you don't want spice, add if you want more heat
- 2 cups ground meat (pork, beef or moose)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
- 2 cans dark red kidney beans
- 2 cans maple flavor beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 cups tomato paste
- 1 tsp chipotle spice
- 1 tsp cayenne spice
- 3 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Using an oven safe pot, saute oil, garlic and onion over medium low heat. Cut bacon into 1 inch strips and add to the pot along with ground meat and sausages. TIP: Remove skin from sausages before adding to the pot, this way the meat will break down to be more like a ground meat in texture.
- Once the meat is all cooked through add mushrooms and celery, stir until until softened, then add the beans, parsley, spinach, tomato paste and spices. Stir to combine, and once it is warmed through pace the cover on the pot and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot with hot crusty bread!