English Baked Beans #SundaySupper

Sorry things have been a bit quite here. I am studying to take my Life in the UK test to get my permanent leave to remain visa in the UK. Between that and other craziness of life it can be hard to keep up with blogging sometimes. But today’s Sunday Supper theme was one so close to my heart that I knew I had to make the time. Today we are talking about budget meals. Budgeting is what first got me into blogging. Discovering that I could live on a tight budget while still enjoying good, healthy food that was cooked from scratch ignited a new passion in my life.

So what makes a meal a budget meal? Each person has different requirements for a recipe to qualify as a budget friendly recipe. For the most part it is a recipe that uses ingredients that you are likely to already have around the house.

Because nothing out of a can is good for me or my family I work really hard to avoid them. But one weakness we have is for baked beans. But if you have never had English baked beans then let me tell you they are nothing like American baked beans. American baked beans are a lot sweeter, more brown sugar based, where English baked beans are tomato sauce based. In the UK a tin of store brand baked beans are so cheap it is almost cheaper to just buy it in the tin. But for us what we put in our bodies, especially the tiny body of my daughter, is so much more important then cost. All in all this recipe is still cheap to make, and it cooks up a large batch. I keep the beans in a large glass jar in the fridge and use within 3-4 days, but you can also freeze it.

In the UK baked beans is the pinnacle of cheap meals. We eat it with our fried breakfast, over jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) but the even more common is beans on toast. It is the simple meal parents throw together for their kids on crazy days and it is a high protein and fibre snack, especially when served over wholemeal toast. My American family things the idea of beans on toast is strange, but don’t knock it until you have tried it. It was the only thing I can honestly say I did crave when I was pregnant.

English Baked Beans

250g dried white beans (haricot or navy)
1/4 tsp baking soda
400g (14oz) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 Tbsp thyme
2 Tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
25g (2 Tbsp) sugar, or to taste
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
Salt to taste
adapted from The Tiffin Box

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Buffalo Chicken filled Pull-Apart Bread #SundaySupper

So this week Sunday Supper is talking about recipes to prepare for your Super Bowl party. Now we aren’t a football family, and even if we were living outside of the US we don’t have access to watching the Superbowl. But what we do love is party food so any excuse for fingerfood and we are ready for the challenge. I really wanted to make something unique that I have never attempted before. Chris has been asking me to make Buffalo chicken wings for a while but for this post I wanted something a little outside of the box and chose Buffalo Chicken filled Pull-Apart Bread. After failing to find anyone else who has attempted this I decided I was on my own and needed to experiment. It is always interesting when you experiment with recipes. Sometimes I play around with a recipe several times before I share it but this time I decided to post it as is and share the lessons I learned while making it.

First off I decided to be “clever” and make this dish somewhat healthier by taking a bread recipe of mine and adding a lot of extra wholegrain goodness. This is not recommended, the dough was very hard to work with and make the appetizer too heavy. Also since this takes a while to roll out each dough ball I would recommend using something like pre-made dinner roll dough. If you do use the bread recipe I used then I recommend using all white bread flour.

Don’t forget to check out the other amazing game time food ideas from the rest of the #SundaySupper crew.

Buffalo Chicken filled Pull-Apart Bread

500g (1 lb) diced chicken
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
60mL (1/4 c.) hot sauce (I used Franks Hot Sauce)
Bread dough
80g (1 c.) Cheddar
80g (1 c.) Mozzarella

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