… Stepping Back to Simple Memories and a Simpler Meal!
Much like the pork and beans dish my mom prepared when I was growing up, this recipe is simple to make and even easier to eat. It was a kid pleaser then, and it still is today. Though I wasn’t the kid who was into every after-school activity that kept Mom driving me here and there, there were still many nights that required getting dinner on the table fast and without much fuss or prep. Simple was important. My mom’s health was very poor my entire life. Sometimes getting dinner on the table for our family required so much of her energy, that’s about all she could muster up for a great portion of the day. Meals such as this one made that task doable.
When I was racing around one afternoon last week – in the maddest dash (figuratively speaking) during a very hectic midday time crunch – for some reason, this is what popped into my head. Why, I’ve no idea, since pork and beans meals were a distant memory … though fond ones since the family always ate dinner together. But that’s what caught my attention in my chaos. So, I immediately went retro.
This time around, the recipe concept (if one can call this a recipe) is exactly as it was many years ago but the execution delivers a gluten, dairy and casein free, and healthier meal. Still fast, still simple, safer for our new dietary requirements.
I used Applegate Chicken Hot Dogs and Bush’s Original Baked Beans. Both of these products are free of gluten, dairy, and casein (and healthier than hot dogs and canned beans from many, many years ago). To dress the recipe up a smidgen, I seared the hot dog pieces in a little oil before adding the beans to them (look at those tasty sear marks I achieved in my cast iron skillet), then I stirred in some French’s Yellow Mustard, which cuts the sweetness of the baked beans and adds a hint of tang … a minor upgrade to Mom’s version. (According to my hubby, my mother-in-law made a variation of this too.)
In addition to being fast and easy, this meal is low cost, but if you want to stretch your budget farther, or put together a larger meal for your big eaters, serve these Retro Pork ‘n Beans over rice or orzo-shaped pasta (DeLallo). Add a crisp green salad, some steamed veggies, and some fresh fruit, and dinner is ready in less than 20 minutes. How’s that for fast?
While there are some things that I never wish to relive – like being a teenager again – this updated pork and beans recipe makes taking a trip down memory lane a good thing. Just wish my mom and dad, and my mom and dad-in-law were here to take the trip with us. Boy the stories they could tell.
Do you have a retro recipe you love to bring out once in a while?
Gluten and Dairy Free Retro Pork 'n Beans
- Add oil to skillet, heat to medium temperature, then add hot dog slices. Cook until browned.
- Open canned beans and remove the pieces of pork; discard. Add baked beans to skillet with hot dogs. Stir mustard into pork and beans. Reduce heat to allow beans to simmer and thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Serve piping hot, either as is or over cooked rice or pasta.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat before serving.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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