Season the protein with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil or fat. When hot, add the protein to the skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until cooked through, 150 degrees F for pork, 165 degrees F for chicken, 145 degrees F for medium beef, 145 degrees F for medium lamb and the tofu is warmed through.
Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until almost crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and spices and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beans, tomato, liquid, mustard and maple syrup or brown sugar, if using, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Serve the protein with the pick a bean mixture.
For more ingredient substitution ideas, see the article below.