Friday, November 9, 2012

A Bean Dish From My (Somewhat) Distant Past

Does anyone remember Prodigy? It was my introduction into the world of  online information sharing quite a few years ago, an ISP from IBM that is now obsolete. How things have changed! Any number of computers later we have the internet, facebook, twitter, youtube, blogging and images that were unheard of back in the Prodigy world. But I still have one souvenir from the days of Prodigy and that is my three bean casserole recipe. Prodigy had an online cookbook back in the day and I found this easy recipe that became a staple in our house over the years. With the onset of blustery cold weather, yesterday seemed like the right time to make it, along with some nice homemade bread.
There are three things I like about this recipe. It is healthy. It is cheap. And it tastes nicely different than some of the other baked bean type recipes I've tried. Probably because it uses different types of beans like garbanzo and lima beans as well as having celery in the sauce.
The recipe calls for canned beans, but I like to have dry beans prepped and ready in the freezer to use instead. This makes them that much cheaper and healthier. I do batches of different kinds of beans, soaking them overnight, then boiling them until they are soft. I freeze them in 2 cup portions so they are always ready to cook with. They have less sodium this way and are not exposed to the chemicals in plastic lined cans. I have found that by using the frozen beans, I like to add a little salt (about a half teaspoon) to the recipe which is otherwise not called for. Well, without any more ado, here is the recipe:
                               Three Bean Casserole
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1 Tablespoon cooking oil (I use olive)
2 cups (or one can) cooked white beans
2 cups (or one can) cooked garbanzo beans
2 cups cooked lima (butter) beans - I use frozen baby lima beans
1 and 1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a large skillet heat the oil and cook the sliced onions and celery over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in all the remaining ingredients. Transfer this mixture into a 2 quart casserole. Cover and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly.


  1. I love the three bean casseroles. I have several recipes and they all taste good to me. I do omit garbanzo beans and substitute either pinto, red or kidney beans. I never did like the texture of the garbanzos. I'll have to give this one a try, as none of mine call for apple juice, just more sugar.

    1. This has a nice flavor to it between the apple juice and the celery. My husband isn't so keen on garbanzos either, although in this recipe he likes them.

  2. That recipe does look yummy even tho I don't use a lot of beans. I tried cooking kidney beans I guess it was and froze. I didn't care for the smell. Did I do something wrong? Nancy

    1. Probably not Nancy. Beans can be a bit strong. We eat a lot of beans because my husband is a vegetarian. The recipe is fine with canned beans and that's how I always used to make it. I only started cooking and freezing beans after I retired because it really is a money saver and the beans are lower in sodium that way.