There's something about fall and maple baked beans. Warm, sweet and filling; they're a classic and delicious side dish.
This Shepherd's Pie inspired casserole uses sweet and smoky baked beans as a base, elevating them beyond side status. The beans are topped with a creamy sweet potato cauliflower mash (because what is a vegan meal without at least one hidden vegetable). My mashed potatoes are blended until creamy using a hand mixer and a splash of almond milk. Fresh sage (one of my favourite combinations with sweet potato or pumpkin dishes) and a touch of salt finish them off.
This dish is amazing both hot and cold and I can only assume it would make great leftovers... if I could ever get it to last overnight.
You could even fancy it up by brushing with olive oil and sprinkling bread crumbs or vegan parmesan on top. Definitely worth a try!
In other news, we are still out in Blairmore, Alberta. I am really enjoying the hikes and the small town pace. Blairmore is part of Crow's Nest pass, as string of five small town's in Southern Alberta, located pretty close to Fernie, BC. It's not a hugely touristy area, so not a lot of amenities, but there is a ton to do if you're an outdoorsy person. Many easily accessible and super fun trails for mountain biking, atv-ing, and of course trail running, though most of the people we see out in the back country are hunting deer or fishing. Definitely want to be wearing bright colours and making noise when you're out and about on foot. I'm still injured, so not able to do as much as I would like, but if you want to see just how beautiful Crow's Nest is, you can check out my travel Instagram.
We'll be off to Mackenzie BC in about two weeks, assuming we can find some housing, as my partner continues his rather rural electives tour.
Sweet maple baked beans topped with a sweet potato cauliflower mash. Make this fall inspired dish for guests or a tasty weekend meal. Top with vegan parm and brush with garlic infused olive oil for extra pizzaz!
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
- 1 can or 2 c Romano beans (or use small kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1.5 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1/4-1/2 c Water
- 1 medium Sweet Potato, diced
- 1/2 head of Cauliflower, chopped
- 1 Tbsp of Fresh Sage, minced
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 c Almond Milk, unsweetened
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you chop the sweet potato and cauliflower. Dice the sweet potato into small cubes for faster cooking. Add it and the cauliflower to the pot and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until easily pierced by a fork.
While the sweet potato and cauliflower are cooking, make the baked beans by adding all of the baked bean ingredients to a second pot, stirring frequently. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if they become to dry (the beans should be swimming in a nice syrup).
Once the sweet potato and cauliflower are soft, drain them and mash them using a hand masher. Add about a 1/4 c of almond milk, the sage and the salt while mashing. For an extra smooth consistency, like the one seen in the photos, use a beater or food processor.
Once the potatoes are mashed, remove the beans from the heat and pour into an oven safe dish. I used a glass bread dish to make a taller casserole. Bake for 20 minutes (or 18 if using a square dish).
To lightly brown the top, set the oven to broil for the last 4-5 minutes.
Optional: brush with olive oil before broiling. You may also sprinkle on some bread crumbs, chopped nuts (pecans would be good) or vegan parmesan (2 tbsp of walnuts and 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast, with a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp of olive oil, blended in the food processor until smooth) for extra crunch.
That's about it for today! As always, I love to hear from you guys! If you try out the recipe, let me know how you liked it and whatever modifications you made! This week I'm going to be trying to cook up something special for Halloween, so stay tuned!