April 29, 2015

Recipe: Hipster Beans and Franks

A couple weeks back I was headed into the kitchen proclaiming to Mary how I was going to make beans and franks. To my surprise she replied back, "you're going to make what?" I began to wonder if this one of those "17 Apartmoments where age comes into play? 

You know — those classic Beanie Weenies or Beans and Franks that I ate as a child? I honestly do not remember eating the canned version too often but I do remember camping and nothing could fill me up and be quicker to make than opening a can of baked beans, heating them in the can over the fire with a couple of hot dogs to slice up and add in. It still didn't register with Mary — she says she was more a part of the Spaghettios era.

With that, I'm sharing my updated version of a childhood classic, a hipper adaptation that uses lentils as the "beanie" and fresh sausage as the "weenie."

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cups of water (vegetable or chicken broth may be used)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 cup curly kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 fresh sausages, grilled (see your local butcher)
Begin by rinsing lentils and placing them in a medium sauce pan with the water or broth of your choosing. Bring contents to a rapid boil then reduce to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. After about 20 minutes the lentils should be soft and the liquid absorbed. Remove from the stove and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering, then add the garlic, onions and carrots. Stir to coat and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. 

Mix in the reserved lentils and stir in the kale. If the mixture seems dry, you can add a little more water or broth to create your desired consistency.

Add the tablespoon of whole grain mustard, salt and pepper to taste, stirring everything again to combine.

Plate the lentil mixture and top with the warm grilled sausages to serve.

So this, my friends, is what I'm calling a healthy version of the classic beans and franks. After giving this version a go, I imagine the only time baked beans and hot dogs will come together is out on the trail hiking and camping. Of course, this could be easily made on the trail with a little planning, but as they say...when in Rome!

We would like to know, which generation were you?

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  1. I still make baked beans, although I do mine from scratch. Nothing like beans slow cooked with molasses!

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  3. I was born in '81, and beans and franks (aka beanie weenies) were part of my childhood. I crave them occasionally in the fall when I dream of going camping. Thanks for the recipe!


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