If you’re like me and tend to make way more food than you actually need for any get together, this week may find you with an entire extra pan of baked beans. Fortunately for me, I also have a man who will likely eat them all. But why not change it up a bit? Or, at the very least, increase the nutrient density so that it steals a bit of glory from the salt, sugar, and fat… Not that those things aren’t necessary, but I think you know what I’m getting at.
Looking around for other things on their way out, I realized I still had a bunch of vine ripened tomatoes left that were just chillin’ in my fruit bowl and a huge tub of fresh spinach in the back of my refrigerator. At first, I was thinking stuffed peppers, but we just had stuffed peppers and eh, I don’t know. Tomatoes provided the perfect alternative – and they were little so I could serve them as a side with my meatloaf tonight! So here’s what I did…
Baked Bean Stuffed Tomatoes
- 6 Vine-Ripe Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Baked Beans (about 1 can if you’re not using leftovers)
- 1/2 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn
- 1 & 1/2 Cups Fresh Spinach or Salad Greens – Coarsely Chopped or torn
- White Wine or Champagne Vinegar and Chopped Green Onion- For Garnish (Optional)
How It’s Done:
- Preheat oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil, spray lightly with oil and set aside.
- Cut the tops off of the tomatoes to make a bowl shape and scoop out the insides (refrigerate or freeze them and toss them into your next pasta sauce, vegetable broth, or other tomato-based dishes). Set the tomato-bowls on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Brush the tops and insides of the tomatoes as best you can with this mixture. Then place the tomatoes in the oven and broil on high for about 3 minutes, just until they start to tenderize.
- In a medium sized pot, combine beans and corn over medium heat just to warm through. Add 1 cup of spinach and stir in just until it’s wilted.
- Lightly pack the bean mixture into the prepared tomatoes and place back under the broiler for another 2 to 3 minutes just until the tops start to brown.
- Top with salad greens and just a tiny splash of vinegar or chopped green onion.
- If you are concerned that your tomatoes will burn before they tenderize, just use a lower setting on your broiler but be aware that it will take a little longer. Or bake at 450 for 5 to 10 minutes. You don’t want them to be mushy because they need to hold the filling, just tenderized and warm.
My baked beans were packed with a double whammy of lean turkey bacon and kielbasa, along with brown sugar, dijon, and Worcestershire. They definitely leaned to the sweet side and, being leftovers, they were mushy from being stirred and stored. The Worcestershire and vinegar, along with the natural acidity of the tomatoes, tempered the sweetness, while the corn added variety and brought back some much-needed texture (plus vitamin-c, magnesium, and antioxidants). The spinach was honestly just because I had it and needed to use it, bonus points for b-vitamins and iron.
They went perfectly with tonight’s Tender Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf, which you’ll find soon enough, in Kitchen Sink Weekly #8. 🙂