Homemade Baked Beans

Wow, making your own baked beans tastes so much better than opening up a can from the grocery store.

This recipe was inspired by the Macedonian dish tavce gravce. It has so many layers of flavor and comfort, I was sad when the pot was finished.

But I can always make it again. I hope you try it! It’s so lovely.


  • 1 cup dry red chili beans (or navy beans)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 chili pepper or jalapeno pepper, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Kale and green onions to garnish


Soak the dry beans for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Drain the water, add fresh water to just cover the beans, and add the olive oil and crushed tomatoes.

Mix in the nutritional yeast, coconut sugar, onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper halves, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, and bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until the beans soft, about 45-60 minutes. Make sure to check the beans every 10 minutes or so, giving them a stir and adding water if needed. You want them to end up with a nice thick sauce at the end.

    Finally, take out the bay leaves. You can also bake the beans in the oven for a richer flavor after this step, but we just enjoyed them as is.

    Serve hot with a garnish of kale and green onions, enjoy a side of flatbread if you like, and feel the warm inner hug.


    I have been learning about the Japanese concept of ikigai, roughly translated to your life meaning or purpose.

    Apparently this strong reason to live is so key to one’s health and longevity that some doctors in Japan will perform their medical examination on older people and then ask them “what is your ikigai?”

    There are 4 elements to ikigai: what you love (your passion), what the world needs (your mission), what you are good at (your vocation), and what you can get paid for (your profession).

    Where these 4 things overlap is where your true purpose lies. May you live by your ikigai today, or discover what it is!

    Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

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