Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Family Baked Beans

You know those entrees Chinese restaurants that say Happy Family Noodles? They are usually the entrees that a bit of everything -- fish, beef, chicken and veggie. One big happy family.

This bean recipe doesn't have any seafood, but it has everything else under the sun, and, because it's a Clean Out the Freezer Recipe, there really isn't one, and I'll never be able to make it again.

It all started with a book I received this week in a swap, about military wives and their cooking habits, with lots of stuff by Libbie Custer (wife of Custer of Custer's Last Stand fame). One recipe caught my eye, from a present day military wife, who made baked beans everyone raved over. All she did was bake her canned beans with crumbled cooked sausage and cut up BBQ chicken from other recipes, and I thought "Well heck, that's easy and good, but does it really need a recipe?"

I had many, many little baggies and parcels of protein sources, and some veggie leftovrs. I'm forever making meat entrees and then freezing little parcels for later, and I end up with lots of little leftovers.

This is the original recipe:

Prairie Baked Beans

2 cans of baked beans, one drained, and one with liquid

1 cut up BBQ chicken breast

1 cup cooked breakfast sausage crumbles

1/4 cup of bbq sauce

Drain one can of beans, add both cans (one with liquid, one without) to a pot, add meats and sauce, and bake until hot and bubbly.

This is what I did with the beans...

Happy Family Baked Beans

1. In a small casserole pot, I emptied one regular size can of Trader Joe's fat free baked beans, with liquid.

2. I added a big handful of chopped, leftover, pot roast from this dinner.

3. I added lots of chopped, leftover Rotisserie Turkey Breast from Christmas.

4. I added a small handful of chopped, leftover grilled steak.

5. I added a handful of pre-cooked bacon crumbles from Costco.

6. I fried up and added one turkey sausage patty, crumbled into bits

7. I added the last bit of my pre-cooked, ready and waiting mirepoix from this post.

8. I added a several glug-glug-glugs from a bottle of Steak Sauce (I didn't have BBQ sauce)

9. I added several shakes of Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning, lots of ground pepper, a glug-glug of ketchup, and baked it for one hour.

I ate all of it within 24 hours -- a few spoonfuls at a time, about 2-3 cups worth. It doesn't look like much, but it was fantastic. It was really hearty, more meat than bean, pretty high in protein all things considered, low in fat all things considered, and really comforting on this rain-with-hail weekend.


  1. Ok. I know you're not gonna believe this - but just last night I was CRAVING a nice bowl of some kind of beans like this - yours is similar to a Reunion Bean recipe I have - mmmm

  2. I love the idea of an "everything but the kitchen sink" bean recipe. Gotta try this at some point!!

  3. PS - Did you remember to stop for buttermilk on your way home from work?????

  4. I had to laugh. We food bloggers are always:

    Using up something "iffy". As in: I had some iffy sour cream to use up.

    Cleaning out the pantry. As in: I found a can of strawberries and a jar of pickled almonds to use up.

    Cleaning out the freezer. As in: I had these little bags of leftover proteins to use up.

    We are a funny bunch of cookers for sure. Thanks for a great blog.

  5. Great idea here! Great way to use up leftovers and we love jazzed up baked beans. Thanks for the idea.