Baked Beans Quintet

For those in the USA, Happy Independence Day weekend! Our AG friendly menu for this outdoor holiday includes turkey burgers, fresh fruit, salad, baked beans, and a red, white, and blue dessert. Growing up in New England, Boston baked beans were a tradition and also a production! Not knowing any other way, I made my baked beans from scratch in the first few years I was married. I soon discovered, however, that opening a can of “vegetarian” baked beans made for a much quicker and easier side dish, especially on busy nights with kids. I loved finding this recipe because it has some of the same ingredients as my traditional Boston baked beans, with all the ease of simply opening a can. I have adapted it to be AG friendly and hope you will try it for your cookout or barbecue this weekend or over the summer!

( I sincerely apologize for the lousy quality of this picture. I have been planning to post this recipe since I started blogging and this was taken about 3 cameras ago! It was a good photo at the time, but looks terrible now in comparison to what my newer camera will do. Hopefully, you get the idea of what it should look like and will just trust me that it’s delicious!!)


6  slices turkey bacon

1  cup chopped onion

1  clove garlic, minced

1  15-oz can butter beans, drained

1  15-oz can lima beans, drained

1  16-oz can VEGETARIAN baked beans

1  15-oz can red kidney beans, drained

1  15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained

3/4  cup ketchup

1/2  cup molasses

1/3  cup firmly packed brown sugar

1  1/2  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1  tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1/2  teaspoon pepper


Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, crumble, and set aside. In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic until tender (add a little olive oil or butter if the onion is sticking to the pan); DRAIN.

Combine bacon, onion mixture, and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased  2  1/2 quart bean pot or baking dish. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Make sure to check the garbanzo beans for doneness, they tend to need some extra time. Serves lots and is fabulous leftover as well.


Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

The original name of this recipe is “Tortellini and Fresh Basil”. However, since many with AG are dairy sensitive, I thought I would just post this super yummy tomato and basil mixture and you can decide what to put it on based on what your family needs. If you can tolerate dairy, it’s fabulous over cheese filled tortellini. If you need to be dairy free, serve it over penne or your family’s favorite pasta. And if you love bruschetta (like me!): Slice a baguette, rub both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and a piece of fresh garlic, toast or fry in a nonstick pan (turning once). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with tomato and basil sauce and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Add a side salad to ANY of these combinations and you’ll have a perfect dinner for a hot summer night. 


1  pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3  cloves garlic, minced

1/2  cup chopped FRESH basil

1/4  cup olive oil

3  tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon pepper

Pasta of your choice

Grated fresh parmesan cheese, if desired

Balsamic glaze, if desired


Combine first 7 ingredients in a serving bowl. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Add tomato basil sauce to pasta and toss well. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Sauce can be made up to a day in advance. Chill until ready to use.


Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999


Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

What’s my treat for Mother’s Day? I always request this scrumptious version of Eggs Benedict and a frilly coffee for my special day. We didn’t make this dish after the AG diagnosis because traditionally it’s served with Canadian bacon. However, on a trip to Chicago and visit to the West Egg Cafe, I tried their amazing Albuquerque Turkey Benedict with shaved turkey breast and avocado slices and fell in love. The turkey solved the problem of mammal meat for the boys and when I went vegetarian I just took off the meat and it is sooooo good with just the avocado! Who knew? I know there are lots of other Eggs Benedict variations, so please share your favorite in the comments below. Happy Mother’s Day!


English muffin, 1 whole per serving

2  Poached eggs per serving

1  Avocado, peeled and thinly sliced

Hollandaise Sauce (we use Knorr’s Hollandaise Sauce Mix)

Fresh parsley


Put water on to boil for the eggs. Prep the avocado and sauce as directed on the package. Toast the English muffins and cook the eggs in boiling water for 3 minutes for a runny yolk or longer if desired. Assemble as shown above. Salt to taste and garnish with parsley.