Feeding a crowd with multiple dietary restrictions

I’ve been amazed lately at how many people I come across that have some sort of dietary restriction. It seems like in the past decade, food is more and more the culprit of a myriad of negative things that people suffer. In J’s family alone (in-laws included) we have a vegetarian, a gluten-free, a low-fat, and a low-sodium. On my side I have a diabetic and a recent vegan. Which means that when it comes to something as fun and festive as a child’s birthday party, feeding a crowd of dietary restrictions isn’t easy. E’s 6th birthday party last night a party which combined both families (minus the diabetic) which means no less than five different diets. Granted, vegan and vegetarian are similar, but it’s amazing how many vegetarian recipes have eggs, milk or cheese in them!

Enter one of my favourite recipes: Hawaiian Baked Beans. This is a go-to recipe for us. It is healthy, nourishing food that pleases the palate, the waistline, and the many diets of our combined families! We first had a version of this dish when I had E. A woman from church dropped off a meal one day and it was a sweet, tangy, saucy, baked bean dish. By simply searching for “Hawaiian Beans” I found many, many different versions.

This version is adapted from the one at www.ecomii.com – I usually modify it according to what I have on hand. It’s such a hit that we’re serving it at a school fundraiser next month! We got many compliments on it last night from several people including the meat eaters!. My grandmother even asked for the recipe.

Photo Credit: Juan Carlo via ecomii

Hawaiian Beans

8 Servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoons crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 cup sliced scallions
few slices of bacon, chopped
1 2/3 cups shredded or finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup Mirin
2 (15 ounce cans) pinto beans
1 (14 1/2 ounce can) diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce can) crushed or tidbit pineapple, packed in juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
squirt of ketchup (optional)
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Heat oil and crushed pepper in a large pan for 1 minute. Add garlic, celery, scallions, bacon and saute 3 minutes.  Add carrots, cook 2 minutes and add Mirin. Cook mixture 5 minutes and add beans, tomatoes, and pineapple. Lower heat to medium low and add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and yeast.  Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice.

This can also be done in a slow cooker. Simply do the sautéing and then dump all the ingredients in the cooker. Yesterday I set mine on low for most of the day.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it is very adaptable. Vegetarian? Omit the bacon. No pinto beans? Use another kind. Need more kick? Add more spices. It is easily doubled for a large crowd, freezes well, and can be made fairly quickly on the stove or slowly in the crock pot.

We serve our Hawaiian Beans on whole grain or mixed grain rice. I cook up whatever rice is in the cupboard. Last night it was the end of the wild rice package and a bunch of brown basmati.

Enjoy this wonderful meal and you’ll feel like your on a beach even though it’s snowing outside! (at least it is at my house!)


3 responses

    • Mirin is Japanese rice wine. It’s found in the Asian food section with the sauces and vinegars but not every grocery store will carry it. I think I got mine at PriceSmart. Safeway would also be avoid bet but I couldn’t get it at Superstore.

      It’s a sweet flavor and is also used in teriyaki marinade for meats.

  1. Pingback: A better Chicken Broccoli Divan « funktion rambunktion

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