Healthy Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

Confession time! I've only had baked beans probably like twice in my entire life. I think both times I found them as side dishes that someone brought to some random BBQ. Why only twice? I can't be sure, but maybe it's because I've never liked ribs and baked beans usually accompany ribs. Right? Eh, who knows. My family certainly never made them, though I don't know if there was a particular reason for that. Maybe they're not really an Alaska thing? Or maybe baked beans are something that my family just never really embraced. A shame I should think, reflecting.

Either way, I have embraced them. I saw this vegan recipe for baked beans a little while back and for about a week now, I have been transfixed, yearning for baked beans! I'm so weird. Hey, if it's sweet, I'm on board.

So, these I am sure are not "authentic"...whatever that means with regards to baked beans. I'll freely admit I have no idea. I can tell you though, that this dish was awesome. It was sweet, creamy, warm and comforting. The best part may have been how super easy it was to make. With Todd's birthday party tomorrow (I'll be making homemade veggie burgers, vegan potato salad, grilled corn on the cob and a surprise homemade cake) and working to get back into the swing of things with work and home, I just didn't have time or energy to make something that required a lot of effort. Okay, any effort. Other effortless meals this week included pasta with beet greens, Amy's dairy-free bean burritos and copious smoothies. I didn't record those though. Sorry!

Doesn't that look like the perfect end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall meal? Yes, I agree that it does.

Produce On Parade - Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

So, if you're short on time but don't want to sacrifice a great, nutritious and comforting early fall meal, then this dish is for you!

Healthy Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

Inspired by the wonderful Girl Makes Food

Serves 4-6

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 large bunch of rainbow chard, washed, de-stemmed and chopped (or kale, spinach or any kind of chard)
  • 1-2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tsp. stone ground mustard
  • 2 15 oz. cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper

Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the rinsed quinoa and stir. Turn to low and allow to simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Once done cooking, fluff with a fork.

While quinoa does it's thing, heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, pepper, spinach and rainbow chard. Saute for about 5 minutes over low heat.

Produce On Parade - Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

Drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the saucepan with the onion, red pepper and greens, along with the remaining ingredients.

Produce On Parade - Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

Cover, turn to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve the baked bean mixture over a bed of quinoa and enjoy!

Produce On Parade - Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and QuinoaThat was easy enough, right?

Produce On Parade - Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa

I am fairly ignorant to proper baked beans, so if you have a family or a favorite baked bean recipe let me know! I'd love to hear about it. Are beans popular where you live? I imagine they're found a lot in the South. I have no science to back me up on this one, it's just a hunch.

Healthy Baked Beans with Rainbow Chard and Quinoa
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 4-6
If you’re short on time but don’t want to sacrifice a great, nutritious and comforting fall meal, then this dish is for you!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 large bunch of rainbow chard, washed, de-stemmed and chopped (or kale, spinach or any kind of chard)
  • 1-2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tsp. stone ground mustard
  • 2 15 oz. cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the rinsed quinoa and stir. Turn to low and allow to simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Once done cooking, fluff with a fork.
  2. While quinoa does it’s thing, heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, pepper and rainbow chard. Saute for about 5 minutes over low heat.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the saucepan along with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cover, turn to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve the baked beans mixture over a bed of quinoa and enjoy!

I had lots of yellow leaves on my car this morning. Fall is coming. Now back to preparing for a special birthday!

Thai Cabbage Salad

Who leaves for Turks and Caicos tomorrow but still hasn't started packing yet? This girl! Even Todd is packed...ugh, I just abhor packing. Ain't nobody got time for that! More like ain't nobody got time to cook...and that is where this salad comes in. It's ready as fast as you can whisk up a dressing and chop up some veggies! Still leaving you plenty of time to Facebook, when you should be tending to actual, important things. Also, it was 83 F degrees when I left work yesterday, so you can bet I wasn't about to turn on the oven or the stove! It's too damn hot up in here! Oh, Alaska. At least in the tropics you have a beach and surf to play in! I can't wait to be snorkeling...god, I love snorkeling... Back to this salad though, I love cabbage and I love Thai flavors so why not combine them!  Cabbage, carrots and bell pepper combine with Thai flavors including curry paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil for a super fast and delicious feast.

Produce On Parade - Thai Cabbage Salad

Thai Cabbage Salad

Inspired by Vegan Yumminess

Serves 4

  • -- For the Sauce --
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Thai curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • fresh juice from 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • -- For the Salad --
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed (for garnish)
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds (for garnish)

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk well, until creamy.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1606,1607"]

Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the sauce to the salad and stir well.

Produce On Parade - Thai Cabbage Salad Produce On Parade - Thai Cabbage Salad

That's it! And don't worry about the leftovers, since cabbage holds up much better than lettuce this salad should be okay overnight in the fridge! Garnish with the peanuts and sesame seeds.

Produce On Parade - Thai Cabbage Salad Produce On Parade - Thai Cabbage Salad

Stay away from the oven and the stove, make this and then relax. Imagine you're on the beach...

Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad

You guys! Produce On Parade has over 100 email subscribers! Am I unnecessarily excited by this? Yes, it's possible, but it's so super exciting! Okay, okay, I'll stop being a 12 year old girl...I just can't imagine there's that many people that get emails every time I post some vegan craziness. Whoopie! Okay, now for the good stuff. This recipe seriously couldn't be easier. The only work that's needed is a little chopping and a little blending. Quick and simple! Great for those times you forgot about the family BBQ (ummm...I brought a bag of chips?) Plus, people will appreciate a salad...trust me. Especially those of the vegan variety! One can only eat so many veggie hot dogs, okay?

Produce On Parade - Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad

Leave the bag of chips at home. Instead bring this Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad to the next surprise gathering and be the Veggie BBQ Superstar!

Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad

Inspired by the magnificent Girl Makes Food

Serves 4-6

  • -- For the Salad --
  • 1 head of lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • crushed tortilla chips, for topping
  • vegan shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • -- For the Avocado Ranch Dressing --
  • 2 large avocados
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped or freeze dried dill (1/4 Tbsp. dried)
  • 1/4 cup. fresh parsley, chopped (1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

-- For the Salad --

Combine everything excluding the toppings in a large salad bowl. Mix well.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1553,1560"]

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1559,1552"]

-- For the Avocado Ranch Dressing--

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1554,1557"]

-- Combining the Salad and the Dressing --

Produce On Parade - Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad

I won't have leftovers: This is important and I cannot stress this enough...if you know all this delicious salad is going to be gobbled up as soon as you make it and it WILL NOT be left sitting, overnight in the fridge as leftovers then feel free to combine the dressing and the salad. Just be sure to mix the two well. However, it's a big salad and you'll probably have leftovers, especially if you're not bringing it to a gathering.

I will have leftovers: If you think you might have leftovers, DO NOT combine the salad and dressing. Just use the dressing as a condiment and add it to each serving. If the two were combined and left to sit, you'd end up with one big, mushy, watery salad. No bueno! I learned this lesson the hard way a while back! So, if it's not all eaten up, store the two separately and the salad should last for several days. The dressing might turn brown on top after a couple days but its' just the avocados and it's perfectly fine. Don't freak out, yo! It ain't no thang!

Produce On Parade - Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad

Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice! And be sure leave that bag of chips at home...

Southwestern Avocado Ranch Salad
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 4-6
Leave the bag of chips at home. Instead bring this salad to the next surprise gathering and be the Veggie BBQ Superstar! Quick and easy to make.
Ingredients
  • -- For the Salad --
  • 1 head of lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • crushed tortilla chips, for topping
  • vegan shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • -- For the Avocado Ranch Dressing --
  • 2 large avocados
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped or freeze dried dill (1/4 Tbsp. dried)
  • 1/4 cup. fresh parsley, chopped (1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. -- For the Salad --
  2. Combine everything excluding the toppings in a large salad bowl. Mix well.
  3. -- For the Avocado Ranch Dressing--
  4. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  5. -- Combining the Salad and the Dressing --
  6. I won't have leftovers: Mix the salad and the dressing together.
  7. I will have leftovers: If you think you might have leftovers, DO NOT combine the salad and dressing. Just use the dressing as a condiment and add it to each serving. If the two were combined and left to sit, you'd end up with one big, mushy, watery salad.
  8. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice!