Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Slow cooker sausage and beans

What's not to love about a slow cooker? There's nothing like coming home from a busy day to find dinner is already made. However, most crockpot recipes are not very 'green'. They tend to be meat-heavy and to use a lot of (expensive and unhealthy) processed foods like cream soups and canned beans. I have had to develop my own repertoire of crock pot recipes, and it has been well worth it! Here's one new recipe:

Slow Cooker Sausage and Beans

· 2 cups dried beans (I like to use a blend, like 1 cup pintos, 1/2 cup black beans, and 1/2 cup kidney beans)
· 4 to 6 links organic chicken sausage or other link sausage
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
· 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
· 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
· 3 tablespoons brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon chili powder
· 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained


Soak beans overnight (I soak mine in the crockpot to cut down on dishes). Place in slow cooker on high with water to cover, plus a few inches. Cook until soft, about 4 hours in my crockpot. Longer is okay, too. Drain beans, reservings about one cup of fluid. Add all other ingredients, along with the reserved fluid, and cook in the slow cooker on high for another hour. Serves a medium sized family. If I need to 'expand' the recipe, I increase everything except the sausage. Organic sausage is expensive!