No Meat Zone: Vegan Mango Barbecue Pinto Beans

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When I saw this Mango BBQ Beans recipe, I was intrigued ... but also a little hesitant to make them, because the beans were cooked on the stovetop rather than baked. After all, I'm a traditional baked bean kinda gal. But I fell in love with the flavor of these tangy, mango-y beans.

I made a few changes to the recipe as it originally appeared in the cookbook Appetite for Reduction, including:

- I used pinto beans instead of kidney beans because the soft texture of pintos is perfect here.

- I used my bean cooking liquid instead of vegetable broth, because it was free and tasty!

- And I used less than half the amount of liquid smoke, which can be overpowering.

The result was slightly sweet and smoky, and absolutely delicious. Next time will probably go all the way and bake them at 300 degrees for an hour or two instead of simmering on the stovetop. But that will simply be guilding the lily (or the beans, as the case may be.)

VEGAN

Mango BBQ Beans

3/4 pound dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh ripe mango
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 cup bean cooking liquid
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the beans in a large bowl of cold water and soak overnight. Drain, return to the pot and cover with cold water by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. This may take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the freshness of your beans. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Add the mango, tomato sauce, bean cooking liquid, pepper flakes, allspice, coriander, beans and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove off the heat and stir in the agave nectar and liquid smoke. Add more salt to taste, and serve.

Cathy Elton
Cathy is a Brooklyn-based food blogger who focuses specifically on heart-healthy food. A long-time foodie, she suddenly learned that she has hereditary heart disease. But she turned her health issue into a cooking challenge, and developed a heart-healthy, vegetarian cooking style that’s spicy, satisfying and adventurous. Cathy is on a mission to inspire others to eat the way she does, and shares her recipes on What Would Cathy Eat?

Photo credit: Cathy

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