A hearty dish for a chilly day

On a cold day, after a killer workout, I found myself craving a hearty lunch – baked beans to be precise. While I am partial to the occasional tin of the commercially-produced variety, I much prefer to make my own. They’re lower in sugar and you can flavour them any way you like.

The basic recipe below serves four. I seasoned mine with sweet paprika and a pinch of dried chilli for a lovely, warm flavour but you can add whatever you like. In summer, for example, I prefer to use fresh basil and thyme while Worcester sauce and English mustard are also delicious.

If you want to be really fancy, you can whizz up some fresh tomatoes in a blender instead of using tinned ones or add some cherry tomatoes to the mix to up the veggie content.

Beans are packed with protein and fibre as well as antioxidants but if you’re after an extra protein hit, top them with a poached egg.


  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g tin of cannellini beans (or your own favourite of bean variety), drained


  • Heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the onion until it is soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, beans and seasoning and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are soft.
  • Serve on a slice of of sourdough toast.


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