Baked Beans

March 29, 2012

Whew, my talk on nutrition + real food tonight went really well!! I am a very nervous public speaker, especially when it comes to the anticipation before a presentation begins, but once it gets going I’m ok. I got myself out of breath a few times tonight though! I had a packed room of students who asked great questions and enjoyed some Great Harvest bread at the end. Thanks to the Kinesiology department for inviting me! My first UVA clothing:


Fuel before I left – cereal + milk! My new favorite snack. Both Puffins and shredded wheat.


I’ve been working on tonight’s dinner since last night.


I brought these beans home from the Foodbuzz Festival this year. I was excited to try a new kind. Love beans made from scratch.


But this was also an opportunity to test out the rice cooker as a bean cooker! I couldn’t wait to see if I could leave them unattended and let the cooker do the monitoring. So much easier to clean than the crockpot too, and it senses when they are done.


Thanks to this book, I had instructions all ready to go. I soaked the beans overnight (1lb) and then added 4 cups of water. Per the instructions, I set the cooker to “Mixed” and my timer for an hour and a half.


I checked on them a few times and noticed at about 1 hour, 40 minutes there was a minute countdown…4…3…2…1. To my disbelief, the cooker turned from cook to warm when the beans were perfectttttly done! Yippee!

They then went in the fridge to be used for 2 dinners.


While I was at my talk, Matt got started on a great bean dish. A version of baked beans, if you will.


I told him all the ingredients I had in mind for the dinner and this was his manifestation of them:


He grilled zucchini and red pepper, added pickled jalapenos and some southwest seasonings and baked them for about 10 minutes until cheese on top melted.


We ate them nacho-style with los chips


Fabulous dinner!!



We’re LOSTing it up and I’m planning a popsicle for an evening treat!

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @LivingLongfellow March 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

We use our rice cooker frequently to cook up our rice/bean vigo combo. It is amazing how it just senses when they’re done. Once I can remember to return my library books I may check that one out. I’m kind of running dry on beans/rice ideas.


2 Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Those beans are really pretty! I love how you and Matt collaborated on dinner – sounds great :)


3 kathleen @ the daily crumb March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

yum, your chip n dip dinners always look so delicious!! i am so so so close to buying a rice cooker — so versatile!


4 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm

oh my gosh, that dinner looks so good! Seriously, I need to live with you all. I’m a built-in nanny! I have references!


5 [email protected] Kel Show March 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I adore Rancho Gordo and Borlotti beans!!

There is an amazing fennel and bean recipe in their bean cookbook. I first found it on the Joythebaker blog; after buying the book, realized where it had come from!

SO freaking good. The baby will love it :).


6 lynn @ the actor's diet March 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

when you’re done with LOST, might i suggest “downton abbey?” we just finished all 2 seasons and loved. (sorry about the last tv suggestion i had…which didn’t turn out to be any good!)


7 KathEats March 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I’ve heard lots of people recommending that!


8 Kathy W. March 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I agree! so fun. But be sure to get the uncut UK version — the one shown on PBS had quite a bit cut from it…


9 Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic March 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I’ve just finished the first season and am ready to start the second. It’s a great show!


10 Khushboo March 30, 2012 at 12:06 am

I finished both seasons and I’m hooked- a must see for sure!


11 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I love beans, and those look better than any I’ve ever had! Glad the presentation went well. :)


12 j3nn March 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I think I might need to get a rice cooker–again! It didn’t occur to me that they do more than rice when I had one and used it ONE time before selling it, haha.


13 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

YAHHH! Glad it went well.

I am SO using this trick–thanks for the easy-to-cook beans tip!


14 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I love homemade beans too – they’re so easy to make!


15 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Wow! that looks so good! I’ve never made homemade beans but you make them look easy enough that I should try…


16 katie @KatieDid March 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

yay that’s my major!! fun dinner, love the fancy nacho idea.


17 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt March 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

beautiful meal! love the fresh avocado


18 Emily @ The Swallow Flies March 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I am not a fan of baked beans, but those look to. die. for. I just might have to try ’em!


19 Angel7 March 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

What a protein-packed dinner :)


20 Grace @ Healthy Dreaming March 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I love the idea of eating baked beans with a side of chips. Delicious!

Glad to hear the presentation went well. I’m sure you blew them away!


21 Maca March 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

This dinner looks sooooo good! I love beans and I always try to make different preparations, but I had never thought about this way of preparing them. I am sooo gonna try this with some black beans I cooked a few days ago! I love that about your blog, I love to discover new ways to prepare things I eat in my normal life.
Also, those chips look really good!


22 jojo March 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I cook beans from scratch (dried ones) often too, and never thought to use the rice cooker(with a timer) I have!
I’m definitely giving it a try now, I love it when things cook unattended.. perfectly :)
your dinner looks amazing!
Way to go on doing good on the presentation! 😀


23 mary @ minutespermile March 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Have only tried making beans “from scratch” one time! Overlooked the “rinse/wash” part of the directions…and made a black bean soup that tasted like dirt bean soup. Oops.
You’ve given me the courage to try again! The bags seem so much cheaper (and healthier?) than gooey canned beans.


24 Kathy W. March 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This makes me want a rice cooker!


25 Mom March 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Cute shirt and picture. Glad your talk went well!


26 kristen @ verbs and vignettes March 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

!!!!!!! I think we have the same rice cooker. I got mine because of Emily’s reviews a while back, but went for the less expensive of the two she suggested. I love the idea of cooking beans from dried, but they’re always so needy for me when they’re on the stove! it always takes more water than it should, and I have to keep adding and getting hot again, and they take so long. I can’t wait to try this!! and then probably buy that book. :p I’m not interested in baking a cake like my rice cooker suggests, but I’m game for everything else.


27 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

Yep same one!!! I agree about cakes :) This cookbook is fabulous though!


28 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I’m so insanely jealous that you can just tell Matt what you have in mind and he goes to town and you end up with a dinner like that! How do I teach my husband that skill!???? haha 😉


29 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

Practice makes perfect!?


30 Kerry @ Totes My Oats March 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Congrats on the talk going well! Dinner looks yummy :)


31 Maria March 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I had some beans for dinner as well. Unfortunately, my dinner was sorely lacking in tortilla chips and overall cheesiness. Yours looks so delicious!


32 Michelle (Better with Berries) March 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I don’t eat beans very often because I’ve never made them many ways except plain in salads, but that combination looks delicious!


33 Averie @ Averie Cooks March 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Ive almost bought a rice cooker a jillion different times JUST to have it perfectly cook beans for me. Now you’ve tempted me. It’s a space/storage issue that holds me back.


34 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 7:57 am

You know I hate appliances for the same reason, but this guy is petite enough that he fits on a shelf IN my kitchen, as opposed to down in the basement with the coffeemaker, crockpot and juicer


35 Alison March 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Wow, now I want a rice cooker even more!!


36 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl March 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

dinner looks absolutely awesome (I am partial to zucchini) + I have been wanting to try Rancho Gordo beans. He is absolutely obsessed but I hear his varieties are the best!


37 Alyssa @ Everyday Maven March 30, 2012 at 1:42 am

Rancho Gordo are the most amazing beans I’ve ever tasted! This looks like a fantastic weeknight dinner to me!


38 Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious March 30, 2012 at 4:54 am

Great looking dinner. It makes me want Tex-Mex!


39 Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not March 30, 2012 at 6:07 am

I’d love to try homemade beans one day because I always hear how they are so much better than canned…but haven’t put in the effort to make them yet…Maybe soon!


40 Tori March 30, 2012 at 6:27 am

You BOUGHT the beans at the festival and then you BROUGHT them home.


41 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 6:30 am

Actually no I won them in a prize pack… And brought them home with me


42 Bethany March 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

And even if Kath did make that typo, what is the point of telling her in this way??


43 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count March 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

That sounds tasty! I didn’t know you could cook beans in a rice cooker. That’s really a muli purpose appliance.


44 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles March 30, 2012 at 6:43 am

Yummy! Love beans…really need to try using the dried and cooking them up like you did. That looks delish!


45 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 30, 2012 at 6:56 am

Congrats on the speech going well! :) I really want a rice cooker. I love that it’s so versatile and you can cook so many things in it. We registered for one for our wedding. I’m hoping that we get one or else I’m definitely buying it! Dinner looks great!


46 seana March 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

My nephew is taking Kinesiology at UVA. How funny.


47 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 7:57 am

Maybe he was there!


48 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 30, 2012 at 7:03 am

That dinner looks delicious! I’ve never even heard of those beans before though – what are they like? :)


49 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 7:58 am

A lot like pintos – very mushy on the inside, which I liked a lot


50 Heather @ Run Eat Play March 30, 2012 at 7:19 am

Great job on your presentation! Dinner looks great – I’ll take anything with tortilla chips in it!


51 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

Fabulous dinner! Looks awesome :)


52 Joanne March 30, 2012 at 7:39 am

You’ve had so many great suggestions this week. This one is terrific. I’m only hoping my older rice cooker can cook beans. I’ve cooked beans in the pressure cooker before but that thing is so big and difficult to clean, I’d love to use another gadget.
Dinner looks great.
Congrats on a successful presentation.


53 Björg March 30, 2012 at 7:41 am

You make me really want one of those rice cookers! It. Looks so easy :)


54 Bethany March 30, 2012 at 7:53 am

Good Morning!! Just had whipped oats for the first time! Yum Yum Yum… I am so full and have such a warm cozy tummy! Thanks- great for this cool morning in South Dakota :)


55 Eva @thehealthyparty March 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

Awesome idea to use a rice cooker as a bean cooker!!


56 robin March 30, 2012 at 8:11 am

your dinner looks so healthy as always, I wish I could do this for my family. I really want to learn how to incorporate such clean eating into our diets.


57 Lillian March 30, 2012 at 8:23 am


I’ve been reading for several years now, and have finally gotten around to commenting. You’ve inspired me to truly enjoy the food I eat, AND to start my own blog! Your energy is totally infectious, even through the internet. :) Finally: congratulations on your soon-to-be-bigger family!


58 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

Thanks so much Lillian!!! Best of luck on your blog :)


59 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings March 30, 2012 at 8:34 am

Another amazing looking meal — that is exactly the way I love to eat. Beautiful! :)


60 Andrea @FrSeed2Stomach March 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

Great idea to bake them with veggies, seasoning and melted cheese! Totally going to try that!


61 Chrissie March 30, 2012 at 10:51 am

It’s about time you finally got some UVA gear!!!
… And that avocado looks amazing.


62 Andrea March 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I just bought this great cookbook two weeks ago after borrowing it from the library. LOVE IT! I want to cook every meal in my ricecooker now. It makes clean-up SO EASY! And I’ve been wanting to try Rancho Gordo beans ever since Lorna Sass recommended them in her Whole Grains Every Day Every Way book. I will have to buy some and just pay the shipping! So thank you for the info on them. I don’t know I’ll buy those because I prefer a firmer cooked bean, but definitely must try them.

I haven’t tried any of the cake recipes in the cook book but I did buy pre-mixed cakes in Japan a decade ago and loved them. I hope the recipes in the book are as yummy!


63 Life's a Bowl March 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Those beans look tasty! My fiance loves baked beans but isn’t a big fan of beans any other way- I’d love to make something similar and see if he’ll try it! If not, more for me :)


64 Michelle March 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

a. all of your dinners always look so delicious! :)
b. I couldn’t help but notice the “Moose Drool” mug in your dinner photo! Have you been to Montana before?! BigSky Brewery beer is so great!


65 KathEats March 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Yep! That’s where Great Harvest is HQed so we spent 3 weeks there!


66 Michelle March 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Ahhh! that is awesome! Montana is the BEST place (I guess I am a little biased since I grew up there haha). Hopefully you have a great time when you were there!


67 Eileen March 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Wait, you can cook dried beans from scratch in a rice cooker? Now THAT is interesting. Off to experiment…


68 trish March 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm


Thank you so much for speaking to our health class on yesterday! Very candid but informative. I’m a huuuuuuuge food lover, and you manage to describe and talk about whole food in a lively way even for people who already know about awesome things like overnight oats 😉

Another UVA student I lived with last year has been following your blog for many months now, so she was heartbroken when she couldn’t make it to your talk. I anticipate a Great Harvest bakery visit with her soon :) Yummy bread, great presentation, cool person!



69 trish March 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

our health class yesterday*



70 KathEats March 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thanks so much Trish!! Hope to see you around town :)


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