Posts made in February 6th, 2012

vegan baked beans with pears


Posted on Feb 6, 2012 in Food

This was my Super Bowl dinner.

Yeah, it wasn’t too shabby.

Okay, that’s a total lie, it was amazing. You’ll see those sweet and sticky chicken drumsticks later in the week (they were incredible), but right now, we’re gonna talk about those baked beans.With pears in them. Weird, but awesome.

Baked beans are traditionally flavored with some sort of cured meat (frequently bacon) and loaded with sugar. I wanted to try my hand at a meatless version that was cleaned up enough to eat everyday. After all, a bean-heavy dish is a great way to pack in dietary fiber especially if you can cut out some of the fat and sugar. I also added a chopped up pear and a touch of ground ginger to give an interesting, spicy and sweet note to the traditional smokey baked bean flavor. The pears just dissolve and help sweeten the beans without too much added sweeteners.

I love creating cleaned up dishes where the final result is so close to the not-so-clean original. I think you could serve these to any meat-loving person and they’d very happily go back for seconds. Babyface did.

Vegan Baked Beans with Pears

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Makes: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed


  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • In an oven-safe Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add in all remaining ingredients. Stir well.
  • Bake in oven for about an hour, or until the beans are thick and browned.
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What’d you eat at your Super Bowl party?

sweats of the week


Posted on Feb 6, 2012 in Fitness

Remember when I used to do weekly rundowns of my workouts? And then they fizzled out because my motivation fizzled out too and my workouts were so sporadic that they certainly didn’t warrant a weekly digest? Well no more! We’re back, baby!

Thanks to my new training schedule for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, I rocked my workouts this week. Yippee!

This week’s fitness notes:

  • I once saw on something somewhere (reliable source, right?) that we don’t need much more cardio than a brisk 30 minute walk on most days. Sure, longer and more intensity is great, but that 30 minute walk baseline is enough to keep you healthy. It’s something I’ve been thinking about all week. I love walking, but I’ve always felt like it wasn’t enough. I had to do something more intense, more hardcore, more exhausting to really be a healthy person. Maybe I’ve been misguided this whole time and I can blissfully walk my way to a healthy life. I really need to do more research about walking for health.
  • I LOVE my home gym. Love, love, love! In the past few months, we’ve added a treadmill, kettlebells and a bench and now I can pretty much do everything I want in there. Plus, I can plug my iPad into the treadmill. And between the Hulu Plus and Netflix Apps, my training walks are speeding by. I barely even notice the miles go by when I’m mesmerized by the drama of Seaside Heights.
  • Remember when I could do a two minute plank? Well that’s not the case anymore. I could barely hold one for 45 seconds this week. It’s crazy how fast you lose strength. I now have a calendar on the wall in the gym to track my progress—I want to get up to three minutes!
  • 1 week of my Avon Walk training down. 17 to go.
  • 368 total fitness minutes.

This week’s workouts:


  • Brisk 3 mile walk (treadmill)
  • Kettlebells


  • Moderate 3 mile walk (outside, it was beautiful!)
  • Strength training (body weight, free weights, kettlebells)


  • 30 minutes elliptical


  • Moderate 4 mile walk (treadmill)


  • Moderate 3 mile walk (treadmill)

What was your best workout of the week?

I liked the combo of walking outside on campus on a stupendously beautiful day and then coming home and kicking my muscles’ ass.