Who doesn’t love baked beans?! Okay, don’t answer that… but if you don’t I promise you’ll love these! I used to eat baked beans all the time, on toast, with black pepper, paprika, melty cheese, with tinned tomatoes. Baked beans and a buttery cheesy baked potato with a good hearty salad was an old-time favourite meal growing up. Then there’s beans and mash, chips and beans… But it’s bean ( 🙂 ) so long since I could eat tomatoes and other nightshade family plants, and also refined sugar, and so baked beans have been well off the menu. I think also as I have embraced a whole food diet and avoided refined sugar (and my taste buds have as a result improved) I would try your average tinned baked bean and find them far too sweet and too lacking in flavour.
these saucy baked beans made from squash are the answer!
They’re rich and yet light tasting too, packed with natural sweetness and flavour and way better than canned anything anywhere. Tomatoes can be very acidic, squash isn’t and so it’ll leave you feeling great. Beans on toast has never been better! But for a weekend breakfast I’ve thrown in my recipe for herby veggie sausages with toasted pine nuts. These include polenta and a grain-free alternative too. I’m currently transitioning and trying some grains, and cornmeal (aka polenta) is just the best-friend of veggie sausages and stuffing and the like. You can substitute beans and buckwheat (kasha’s best) for corn for a grain-free version, which is super good and more protein dense and filling, or for a fluffier sausage choose the corn.
Being now 27 weeks+ pregnant with my first child I am going through an intense transition, and for me a big part of that is in my relationship to food. In past years I have steered myself into a quite strict (but wonderfully abundant) diet, an anti-inflammatory diet (which means different things to different people with their individual needs but for me meant avoiding all grains, nightshade family plants, refined sugar, soya and caffeine, as well as the gluten and lactose I am severely intolerant to). I will always have to strictly avoid gluten and lactose, I don’t drink alcohol, another inflammatory. I have done this to reduce the inflammation in my body and pain, and help to control the many chronic health conditions I live with, make me more mobile and help me to get the most I can out of life. I found that if I could reduce the amount of carbs I ate, and up the vegetables and fruit, I was more well. Being pregnant, and laid up with a bad back, has made me less active and more hungry and compulsive about food. In the second trimester especially I craved especially carbs and sugar, and different foods crept back in (through the open gateway of bought gluten-free chocolate chip biscuits, from which I am now banned and resemble a hamster…). I have slowly over the past few months introduced grains such as oats, rice (in v small amounts not as a substitute for pseudo-grains) and corn, also occasional soya (which I don’t think agrees with me still) and some unrefined brown sugar into my diet (as opposed to only having fruit-based sugars), in a measured (and occasionally less measured) way. I have seen an increase in pain and inflammation, but not perhaps as much as I had experienced previously for foods such as corn, and so I am aiming to keep an eye on this and keep reassessing in the future using elimination diets.
i think it is important to reassess many food intolerances periodically
I shall see how my diet evolves and how my body responds; the body changes and intolerances can change also, even disappear. When first reintroduced you are very sensitive to foods, but this sensitivity may decrease. For me as a coeliac my high intolerance of gluten won’t change, and I doubt my high intolerance of lactose will either, but otherwise I can find a balance that suits me and my lifestyle at the time. However I do know that if I want to be in optimal health, for me, and be as mobile and pain-free as I can be, I will have to cut back on all inflammatory foods. And as a type 1 diabetic too, such a naturally low-carb and low GI/ GL diet is very beneficial. But I also don’t want to be too restricted when I am breast-feeding, in case I pass on an intolerance somehow to the baby. So much isn’t known about such things, but there are theories and a mother’s milk is very influential on a child’s health. I think when a month away from the birth I shall focus once again on a strictly anti-inflammatory diet, no grains etc., to give myself the best chance of tackling that epic marathon, and then introduce small amounts of foods, just in case that is an issue. And of course the most important thing is that I keep eating a diet rich in nutrients. (Where’s that green juice Daddy Dan?)
We really enjoy making these special baked beans and veggie sausages (and eating them even more!), This type of hot meal ticks so many boxes at this time of year especially, being rich and filling, protein dense, spiced and tasty and truly comforting. Both components are really versatile and go with so many things. Have them as part of a mega veggie breakfast, with ‘chippy’ parsnip chips. Dip the sausages in avocado ketchup or vegan mayonnaise. The sausage mix can be rolled into small balls and eaten with pasta and sauce like meat balls (use the baked bean sauce as a pasta sauce with the addition of garlic and olive oil), or flatten the mixture into a burger and have with your favourite bread and salad. If you want it grain-free then substitute the polenta for a mixture of cooked kasha (roasted buckwheat) and mashed bean (I’d use a white bean), which is seriously delicious too and even more nutritious. But here I have used polenta, as it is cheap and easy and creates a light grainy texture that combined with the buckwheat flakes mimics sosmix veggie sausage mix (another old childhood favourite!). Food that warms you through (which we need as the boiler’s chosen this icy spell to finally pack up and we’ve had no heating or hot water for 8 days and counting… second helping please!!) ♥
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 cup of beans, berlotti, cannellini, flagolet...
- 1 small sized onion
- 1 tbsp mildly flavoured oil
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Large pinch of ground coriander
- Large pinch of ground cumin
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Tsp of unrefined sugar or syrup, to taste
- Dash of water
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup polenta (coarse corn meal)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flakes
- 4 heaped tbsp pine nuts
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp ground coriander
- 1 heaped tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tsp chopped oregano, dried or fresh
- 2 tsp chopped dried sage
- 2 tbsp or so of tapioca flour, or gram, for rolling
- Mild oil for frying
SONG OF THE WEEK… Ian Brown ‘F.E.A.R’