This savory bean and cornbread casserole makes a great contribution to summertime meals at home, and even family or friend celebrations. Pop it in the oven to reheat.

Barbecue Beans
Makes 8 servings

Beans:
Makes 4½ cups beans and 2¼ cups broth
2 cups black-eyed peas
8 cups water (4 cups to soak, 4 cups to pressure cook); add more as needed with pot cooking
1 bay leaf
3-inch piece kombu sea vegetable

Barbecue Sauce:
Makes 2 cups
A few drops of hickory liquid smoke add amazing outdoor grill flavor to a dish. I use Lazy Kettle brand from honestfoods.com. Liquid smoke is “water that has captured the flavor of smoke.” If you feel like trying a couple of natural foods brands of barbecue sauce, my favorites are Organicville and Woodstock.
     Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce includes organic tomato puree (water and tomato paste,) sea salt, and onion and garlic powder.

2 cups tomato sauce (Muir Glen)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup and/or molasses
2 tablespoons vinegar: apple cider, brown rice or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons natural soy sauce or tamari (Ohsawa Organic brand)
1 teaspoon natural hickory smoke flavor (Lazy Kettle brand)
4 teaspoons mustard
4 teaspoons chili power (paprika, cumin, onion, black pepper, garlic and cayenne); add gradually as brands vary in heat

1. Sort through beans by spreading them on a white plate in batches. Remove any small stones or debris. Rinse and drain beans, then soak for 8 to 24 hours. Drain water and transfer beans to pressure cooker or pot with fresh water. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, skimming off to discard any foam that forms on the surface. Add bay leaf and kombu and cover to pressure cook until tender, 20 minutes (or boil for 50 minutes in a pot). Drain, reserving bean broth. Soaking beans saves 15 to 20 minutes cooking time.

2. To prepare barbecue sauce, whisk ingredients together in pot over heat. Add 3½ cups of the drained beans and cook until flavors meld. Add bean broth as desired for texture and taste.

Variation:
Barbecue Beans with Cornbread Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°. Brush the sides of a 2-quart casserole with oil. Transfer the barbecue beans to casserole. Prepare half a batch of cornbread (recipe follows) and pour it over the top to cover the beans. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Brush top with oil after 30 minutes.

For 8 servings per serving:
Calories: 127 Protein: 3gm Saturated Fat: 0.2gm Fiber: 4gm Carbohydrates: 24gm Fat: 2 gm Cholesterol: 0. Sodium: 315mg
Calories from Protein: 10% Calories from Fats: 14% Calories from Carbohydrates: 76%

Cornbread
Makes 9 to 12 servings
1½ cups yellow corn flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1½ cups white pastry flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1/3 cup light vegetable oil Spectrum walnut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup
2 cups soymilk

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush inside of 2-quart baking dish with oil.

2. To make batter, mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl and gently whisk with dry ingredients. Batter should be thin and pourable. Makes 3½ cups batter.

3. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake until cornbread test done, about 30 minutes.

For 18 servings, per serving:
Calories: 132 Protein: 2gm Saturated Fat: 0.4gm Fiber: 1gm Carbohydrates: 21gm Fat: 5gm Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 122mg
Calories from Protein: 6% Calories from Fats: 30% Calories from Carbohydrates: 64%