Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Kale

We’re still working on using up all the kale from the garden – and even though I’ve used it in four recipes this week we’ve still got a huge bag left. The idea for this recipe came from the latest issue of LCBO Food and Drink which Jonny brought home from his travels to Ontario last week. I love the Food and Drink magazines and this fall’s issue had so many great looking recipes in it. None of them called for kale, but I thought that slow cooked baked beans could handle a few bunches of kale. The recipe is for slow cooked beans and while I don’t have three or four hours on a week night to cook, the crock pot does (the original recipe isn’t for the crock pot, but I’m slowly learning that you can just put most things in the crock pot and they turn out). It was easy to prepare, tasted great and was ready when I got home from work. Of course, I felt that fresh buns would be the perfect accompaniment so it was still 8 pm before we ate but the beans were ready when I walked in the door. They look terrible, but you’ll have to trust me that they taste way better…

You could use something other than kale, but I’m not sure what other leafy green is available at the end of October. I didn’t assemble the night before, so I don’t know what happens if you did, but it takes about 10 minutes to put together in the morning so it wasn’t a big deal.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Kale
(makes a lot)

1 large onion, diced
4 celergy stalks, diced
3-4 spicy sausages (chorizo or italian), casing removed and then diced
6 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 pkg. (about 2.5 cups) of dried white beans
1 540 mL can of diced tomatoes
2 bunches of kale, washed and diced

In a large crock pot, combine all the ingredients except diced tomatoes and kale. Cook on low for 10 hours. Add chopped kale and diced tomatoes and let cook another hour or two (or 4). Serve with fresh buns and a salad. Tastes even better the next day!

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