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How to dress up plain cooked beans

I baked a batch of plain navy beans in a clay pot. They taste quite good but i wonder how i can dress them up.

Online, i find many recipes using navy beans or things that require much chopping or many ingredients.. But i'm looking for a 2 min solution, so i can reheat my beans in the microwave and eat them. Any pre-made sauce i could use? Spice?

This is a question i've often asked myself for all sorts of beans, so any advice is welcome.

What is your favorite simple way of eating beans?

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  1. You can nuke chopped onion and bacon, and stir them into the beans with a good splash of your favorite bbq sauce or molasses. Yeah, two things to chop, but what a world of improvement, and you only have to do it once. Some people add a tot of pickle relish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      Think i could use some dried up bacon bits? We never have bacon in the house.

    2. Chow-chow is delicious with beans. It is a green tomato and cabbage relish.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tara57

        Agree with chow chow or a good dollop of salsa.

        1. re: pine time

          I totally third the chow chow. Another good thing is a nice tomatillo salsa (even commercial)

          1. re: DrMag

            I have a italian grocery story nearby that has a large, rather exotic mexican section. I'll look for different kinds of salsa to try.
            Never heard of chow-chow. Probably a american thing? Could i substitute with homemade fruit ketchup?

            1. re: SourberryLily

              Chow-chow is a Southern/rural US version of a spicy, pickled chutney, or relish.

              Here's a version of a basic Cajun Chow-Chow.

      2. I like an updated version of beans-and-greens. Doesn't use the microwave, but doesn't take long or much chopping, either. Reheat the beans with some minced garlic, then stir in and wilt spinach or arugula, and drizzle in fresh lemon juice and olive oil at the last minute. Makes a nice side for grilled chicken or a decent lunch or lazy weeknight dinner. Haven't done this in awhile, but I think I used to mostly drain the beans before reheating so the lemon juice and oil came to the fore. You can of course use any sliced dark leafy green, but chard, kale, collards, etc. will take longer.

        1. Diced raw shallots/onions and fresh cilantro leaves (lots), after heating and gently salt-n-peppering. Squeeze of lime. Fresh parsley if you have cilantro issues.

          Stir in some salsa (fresh or bottled), or marinara.

          Shreds of cheese sprinkled on right after heating. Shallots/onions optional.

          Chopped celery, tomatoes and a dash of vinaigrette.

          Edited: I second mamachef's bacon/onion/BBQ or molasses. So fresh and a nice sweetness.

            1. re: sandylc

              Tried this yesterday, actually very good, as long as you warm it with the salsa.

            2. When I serve beans to a crowd I start with cans of baked beans and I doctor them up with chopped peppers, onions, molasses, BBQ sauce, etc.

              1. siracha
                fresh herbs

                1. During the Depression a standard food in my great-grandmother's kitchen was a pot of plain boiled navy beans with potatoes added to the pot toward the end. This combo was served with chopped raw onion as a relish. You were supposed to put a potato on your plate, mash it down with your fork, and spoon bean "gravy" over it, add a couple of big blobs of beans to the plate, and sprinkle raw onion over all of it. Probably in the pot would also be ham hocks or salt pork "side meat". But if you want to skip all chopping, thus the onion, you could substitute some interesting pickle relish, mustard pickle, or chowchow. Browse grocery store shelves.

                  1. Just a question....

                    Why would you cook up a whole pot of unseasoned beans?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Lol Hammy, not a strange thing to do: I will typically make 6 servings of a bean to eat over 3-5 days; they get dressed differently for different meals. Chickpeas become hummus, cold chickpea/tomato/parsley salad, added to soup; pintos get cilantro-d or wrapped into tacos; limas get buttered or greens added; black beans get pork/garlic or served spiced over rice.

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        I didn't quite know what i wanted to do with them yet so i cooked them simply with water and a bay leaf for aroma.

                        Problem with beans is they take long to cook, so on a weeknight i wont be eating them the same night i cook them..

                        1. re: SourberryLily

                          Try a pressure cooker sometime - it gets beans, unsoaked, on the table in half an hour!

                          1. re: Splendid Spatula

                            Yup--and if you soak them, even quicker. No bean eater should be without one.

                            1. re: Miss Priss

                              I will third that - if you are a bean eater of any kind: get a pressure cooker. It will change your life.

                              I eat many more beans and rarely use canned beans. I save time, money and better for my health. Win-win-win.

                              I like to presoak my beans to pressure cook them but it's not necessary, as stated.

                      2. I do this with cannelini beans, but it will be just as good with navy beans. Stir in chopped roasted red pepper (can be from a jar), thinly sliced scallions or minced red onions, and splashes of sherry or red wine vinegar and olive oil. Eat at room temperature as a salad, or warm gently on the stove or in a microwave. Add some parsley or other fresh herbs if you have them.

                        1. Howsabout pan-frying them the day after cooked in the clay pot. Get them browned and crispy, maybe add some onion.
                          The browning will add another dimension of flavor. You can re-fridge and enjoy in the microwave anytime after. Good with splash of white vinegar.

                          Or simply season with ground cumin and salt to give it a Latin flair.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: porker

                            Roasted Garlic - I also like a dash of vinegar in mine.

                          2. Wow great ideas!

                            Yesterday i threw in some salsa with the beans and ate them on pita bread, with a tiny bit of plain yogurt (in substitute of sour cream).

                            I'll try BBq sauces and relish next :)

                            1. I save the brine from jarred supermarket pickles (my favorite are bread&butter but any kind will work). When I make beans, I thin-slice some sweet onion, then heat up the brine and pour it over the raw onion and hot cooked beans. Let them marinate, then serve the beans as a cold side or include them in green salads.

                              But your favorite salad dressing, mixed with cold plain-cooked beans and onion, cuke, celery, and/or radish makes a nice salad. The crunch of the veggies with the creaminess of the beans is a nice textural combination.

                              1. chopped sweet onion, evoo and lemon or red wine vinegar, S&P, good canned tuna

                                1. With cannelini beans, but would work with navy, add some olive oil, garlic, a sage leaf or two and finish with grated pecorino romano.