The Sprouts - Franks and Beans

Books play an integral part of our family’s life and each day one of our kids is referring back to a book in some way or another. Originally, I planned to incorporate Yoko by Rosemary Wells with a sushi theme, which is Skoogie and O’s favorite meal of all time!!! I’ll talk about that more when we are eating beyond our local radius again.

Instead, during a recent visit, my mom and O connected dearly with a new component of the book. Yoko is a fantastic story about trying cuisine from different cultures. Each time the book was read last week, there was an instant chuckle when they got to the part about the FRANKS who only eat franks and beans. It has been a long while since we’ve read the book and O’s sense of humor has changed. He now gets the pun about the FRANKS only eating franks and beans and thinks it is SOOO FUNNY. Instantly, he asked if we could try franks and beans. (Click the Read More button to continue story)

Ironically, when we were at the library the other day we checked out The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes. To O’s delight, as we flipped through the pages, we saw a recipe for franks and beans!!! Now, we definitely had to make it for dinner! I just had to figure out if I could make it locally. We had just purchased AMAZING sausage (smoked polish sausage) from Northern Waters Smokhaus in Duluth the previous week. (The Smokehaus has been featured on NPR’s Splendid Table and Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to name a few. Everything is mouth watering tasty. Check it out at To my surprise, I found local Great Northern Beans in the bulk section of our coop. A little sage from our garden and pureed apple from our back yard and we were set! It was going to be the perfect pre-soccer game meal since O typically is so excited about soccer, he can’t sit still to eat. Now I just had to REMEMBER to soak the beans overnight!!!

Here is my version of the Franks and Beans
a.k.a. Beans with Sausages in the Silver Spoon cookbook.

4-6 pre-cooked pork sausages (or as many as desired)
2 cloves garlic
6 sages leaves
15 oz of Great Northern Beans (soaked the night before if using dried)
One or two apples (or ½ c apples juice)
Pinch Salt & Dash of Pepper

Optional Ingredients
6 kale leafs
1 clove garlic
2 T olive oil

If using dried beans, soak overnight and then in the morning put in the crock-pot with the torn sages leaves and 2 whole garlic cloves with skin removed. Simmer on low.

If using an apple, cut an apple or two into pieces, place in water and cook in microwave for 10 minutes. With a hand blender or Cuisinart puree apple and set aside.

30 minutes prior to eating brown the sausages on the stove or grill for a few minutes if desired. Drain most of the liquid off the beans, add apple puree, and sausage to the crockpot and cook on LOW for 20 minutes. Serve it up with a side salad and end the night with a reading of YOKO.

If you desire, you can sauté 6 kale leafs with olive oil and garlic and then add to the Franks & Beans. Today, Pete and I ate it this way and thought it enhanced the flavor but I decided to let the kids enjoy the “Franks and Beans moment” and didn’t add it to their plates. They enjoyed their CSA carrots instead.

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