Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Baked Beans, Cornbread and Spinach (Plus Cute Kitty Pics)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Baked Beans, Cornbread and Spinach (Plus Cute Kitty Pics)

So last night for dinner, I made Happy Herbivore’s Baked Beans and Cornbread. I made steamed spinach instead of collards, because I’m just not sure I’m ready to try them yet. I’ve been told they have a ‘unique’ flavor that takes a bit to get used to, and I haven’t been feeling too brave lately. I can’t believe I didn’t try to make something like this at home sooner! It was super easy. And I like baked beans, I always have, it just wasn’t something I had very often growing up, which is why, I suppose, it has been under my radar for so long. I do have to say, I like the vegan version better than I remember liking the 'traditional' version.

I don’t use canned beans unless I have to, I personally feel like it’s a waste of money, raw materials, and that beans cooked at home taste much better, but I understand the convenience of them and will not chastise others for using them, just will avoid using them myself. With that in mind, I’m also not sure of the amount of cooked beans (from dried) equals a can of beans. Now I know that the standard can of beans contains roughly 2 cups, but there is also liquid in there. Anyways, I just used 2 cups of cooked navy beans and added a few extra tablespoons of water to account for what would have been in the can. Next time I make this, I won’t add the extra water, since as you can see from the picture, my beans were a bit ‘liquidy’, but they were still fantastic.

I thought I'd end this entry today with some random pictures of my lovable fur balls. I was inspired by Leng and her pictures of the adorable, and so cleverly named kitty, Miss Dottie (my favorite picture of Miss Dottie is here).

A rare picture of Nermal (left) and Gabby (right) laying together.

Nermal being spastic on her cat tree.


Nermal looking quite curious.

That's all for now!

'Til next time.


Billy said...

Your cats are really cute too!

I replied to your comments on my blog over there.

Bianca said...

Awww! I love cute kitty pics! Gabby looks like one of my kitties, Polaris.

The baked beans sound delicious. And I agree about canned beans. I do use them sometimes, but I prefer to make dry beans in my pressure cooker. They taste better, I think. Plus, you can make a ton and freeze them for later use...which is just as convenient as a can.

You should try collards! They're so good. Season with a little olive oil, salt, and liquid smoke for a true Southern taste.

Emma said...

oh my gosh! your kittie pictures are adorable! That makes me miss mine so much ( I barely ever get to go home to see them! ). awwww

Billy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my post about killing stray cats. I replied to your comment over there.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I love your kitties... they are too cute!!!

Anonymous said...

You should try collards--they are really good! I don't think they have a funny/strong taste at all...they just taste good and green!

I am with you on the canned beans...I have 1 can in my cupboard for an "emergency"--what that bean emergency could be, I am not sure!


Anke said...

I agree that beans you cook yourself taste much much much better than canned, plus you can control how much salt you add. Still I often use canned, cause I sometimes just don't have time to cook them *sigh*

cute kitty photos :-)

Calimaryn said...

Awww such cute kitties!

Rural Vegan said...

Your kitties are adorable, and I love the name Nermal!

I use canned beans when I'm in a hurry, but it sure is nicer (and cheaper) to use dried.

Jennifer said...

Bianca - Thanks! They are cute kitties, they have such personality!

I will use canned beans EVERY once in awhile, particularly when I am trying a bean I've never had before, it just seems more pragmatic.

I think I will try collards next time I make something Southern.

Emma - Aw, that's sad. I'm sorry you have to be away from them. I adopted my kitties shortly after I moved out of the house.

Billy - Thank YOU for posting about it, it's a topic that needs to be addressed.

Chocolate Covered - Thanks! Nermal generally doesn't take the best pictures, she always looks angry, but we've managed to get a few good ones over the years.

Courtney - I think I will! I was nervous to try kale, and both Brett and I like it, so why not?!

Haha! Bean emergency!

Anke - I understand that. I have a full-time job, but Brett is still in college, so he get the privelage of cooking beans on a regular basis. But when we were both in school still, we would cook up a ton of beans on the weekend to get us through the week.

Thanks, they are fun little balls of fur.

Calimaryn - Thanks!

Rural Vegan - Thanks! Nermal was actually the name of the cat in the comic strip Garfield that Garfield was always sending to Abu Dhabi. It was my favorite comic as a kid, so when I got a grey kitty, that's what I decided to name her (even though the Nermal from Garfield was a boy). Gabby is just Gabby, but her middle name is Trouble and for good reason.

It is MUCH cheaper to use dried and you don't waste as much material either (can, paper wrapper around can, dye used for wrapper around can, and so on).

Bianca said...

Hey there! Just responding to your comment on my's funny that you mention Dancing Rabbit because while we were at the Farm, a documentary crew was also filming. And they had just wrapped up filming at Dancing Rabbit. They were from PBS, so sometime this year, the doc on both communities should be coming out.

Billy said...

Mmm, cornbread.

Just letting you know I responded to your comment on my post about vegan canned cat food.

Happy Herbivore! said...

2 cups home cooked beans is about the same ratio to the can. I too use my own beans over canned when possible!

I want your kitties!!!

& I'm so glad you liked the meal!

Leng said...

I totally agree with you about using fresh beans. I'm more for convenience, but really want to try using fresh more often. Do you have any particular tips on using them, such as how to prepare them in advance? and How long...

Okay now to the beautiful cats!
Nermal has the CUTEST face! It's so round and his "cheeks" look so pinch-able. I love his silver coat.

Gabby LOOKS LIKE MISS DOTTIE! Ahh! I want your cats!!

How old are they?

Jennifer said...

Bianca - That's cool, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for the documentary.

Billy - It was tasty! Thanks!

Happy Herbivore - Nice to know I wasn't off.

Haha! Kitties are fun.

Leng - Haha! Convenience IS nice too. I usually soak them overnight (just put them in a bowl of water before I go to bed). Then in the morning, I just rinse and drain them, and then get them going. All beans are slightly different as far as cooking times go. I would suggest that you start checking them after they have been boiling for about 45 minutes. Also, don't make the same mistake I make sometimes, make sure you check it to make sure all the water hasn't evaporated, you will likely have to add water to it a time or two. I will keep cooked beans for about a week in the fridge.

Hehe! As I'm sure you can tell by her round face she used to be quite a chunker. We changed her food and now she's MUCH more active.

Gabby DOES kind of look like Miss Dottie! :-)

Nermal is 5 years old and Gabby is 4!

(chandelle) said...

aw...beautiful kitties! you can see my cat, jimmy page, here:

ok, we're kind of torturing him there, so maybe that's not a great example.

don't be afraid of collards! they're a strongly flavored green for sure, but they're so stiff and beautiful that they hold up in most recipes much better than weaker greens like spinach. and they are delicious.