Baked beans (except they aren’t baked…)

In December, Hubby got some blood work done. One of the things that came up was that his cholesterol was just a little too high. I mean, barely.

I started thinking about different ways I could help him maintain a healthy cholesterol. Right now, we eat pretty healthy, but I was reading this article from the Ensign (a magazine that my Church puts out) and I realized that we could do better.

One of the things my church does is what is called a Word of Wisdom. It is suggestions (and a few commandments) about what we put in our bodies. We are don’t drink coffee or alcohol, we don’t do drugs and we don’t use tobacco products. Those are the commandments.

The suggestions include eating vegetables in there season, eating plenty of grain and eating meat sparingly.

We have the grain down PAT. I make all of our bread from scratch and grind the wheat in my BRAND NEW NUTRAMILL WHEAT GRINDER! (I’m a little excited about this….)

I try to make most of our baked goods at home, including rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, cakes, cookies (lots and lots of cookies) at home, from scratch, without Crisco and with as much whole wheat flour as it will take. (although I do keep unbleached white flour around for pastries…like pie crusts… and occasionally cookies….)

But we have kind of been horrible on the whole vegetable and meatless thing.

We have meat every night of the week. Occasionally we will have a vegetarian meal, but Hubby is a MEAT EATER. All caps. He loves his meat. I honestly can take or leave red meat, but I like chicken. We hardly ever eat fish because it is so stinkin’ expensive around here. Also, we discovered that Farmed Fish makes me absolutely ILL so we have to buy wild caught. And do you know how expensive that is????

Vegetables. Oh vegetables, how I loath thee. I DON’T LIKE VEGETABLES. It doesn’t help that with my last pregnancy vegetables of all kinds (especially raw) made me want to throw-up. A lot.

So we decided to try vegetarian meals three times a week. Actually, Hubby said that he was okay with two or three vegetarian meals a week, and I took that to mean three. Because I am evil.

For snacks we eat veggies to try to get our 5 or 6 a day. I try to have veggies for our side to our main dish for every meal (usually a salad). I drink green smoothies every morning to try to get my veggies in there (although today I mixed an egg, tomato, some scallions, black beans, broccoli, dried minced onion and garlic powder, served on fried corn tortillas for breakfast. YUMMY.)

Hubby usually takes some tortilla chips for a snack at work (not inherently bad for you, just ground corn mostly), instead he takes carrots sticks and chopped broccoli that I keep in the fridge.

So far this has been a good experience. We are eating healthier and I’m hoping with some vegetarian meals thrown in we will be doing better than ever. I have noticed that I feel better already.

Here is a completely non-vegetarian meal side that I came up with. I got the recipe from a “Cooking with your food storage” book and changed it to suit my purposes.

Baked Beans  (in a Pressure Cooker, non pressure cooker instructions below)

Ingredients:

2 cups dry navy beans (or white beans)

1 1/2 quarts water (6 cups)

1/4 lb bacon, cut up

1 tsp dried minced onions

1/2 c. molasses (you can use more brown sugar if you don’t have molasses…)

1/3 c. brown sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 c ketchup

Sort and wash beans. Soak overnight or all day.  Add beans and water to pressure cooker and cook at pressure for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Drain beans, but reserve 1 cup liquid. Turn pressure cooker to ‘saute’ . Cook cut up bacon until crisp. Add bean liquid to de-glaze. Add beans and other ingredients. Set pressure cooker to cook at pressure for 5 minutes. Do a quick release and taste. Adjust ketchup, brown sugar and spices to taste.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make the dried beans (or use canned) in the slow cooker. Just add the beans and water and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Also, after you add the seasonings, cook in your slow cooker for about an hour.

My way is faster…. 🙂

We like our baked beans sweet and tangy, so I add more ketchup and brown sugar than this calls for. This is a good beginning flavor, then you can add on what you like to make it the way you like it. If you don’t like tangy at all, omit the ketchup.

Maybe, once I have tried a few vegetarian recipes, I’ll post a few. Hopefully Hubby can handle the meatless dinner!!

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