Monday, March 1, 2010

Dark Days Meal #15

This week for the Dark Days Meal I made a meatless chili with wheat berries and black beans. I picked up some wheat berries last week at the market and wanted to experiment with them this week so I was looking all over for recipes and found this great one from Eating Well. I had the beans and berries, but was short on the veggies needed so I took a rare Friday trip to the FM near my house. This was a perfect trip made for chili, one of the stands was selling baskets of overly ready tomatoes for $2 which I picked up so I didn't have to use canned tomatoes and the tortilla lady had HUGE bags of jalapenos in liquid for only $2 and I picked up those so I didn't need a can of chipotle peppers. I also got the garlic, onion, bell peppers, avocado and cilantro I needed. So Friday night I cleaned and soaked the beans and berries and saturday morning I cooked them both. This is only the second time I've cooked black beans, but there has to be a secret that I don't know. Both times they have come out hard, I taste them at 1 hr and they seem pretty good, but a little hard so I keep them in about 1/2 more and it seems they only get harder!? Being in the chili it didn't really matter, but this is something I'm going to have to figure out!
On to the wheat berries, they were great! I took half of them and made a great wheat berry pudding (like rice pudding). In place of the maple syrup I used one of my new favorite things, Brown Rice Syrup. I had seen this online and wanted to order some, but the s&h was more than the product itself! Then a month or so back my local Henry's started carrying it and now I use it for everything. I put it on my pancakes, in my tea and coffee, to bake with and to sweeten anything else that needs it. I love it!
So into the pot went all the yummy ingredients from the market, along with some of our special salt, and other seasonings. About 1/2 hour later dinner was done, well at least my dinner was done. I took a bite and it was much hotter than I expected, both kids still tried it but my son wanted nothing to do with it. My daughter kept her bowl with a few bites to sample, but didn't want more. It was even hot for me, though I admit I am a sissy with hot stuff. What made it bearable and extra delicious was the fresh avocado and cilantro on top, each cool bite followed by the rush of heat! I'm definitely glad I have enough for the leftovers! Also on top I grated a little bit of Spring Hills FireHouse Jack which is my favorite, but added even more heat! Now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of those jalapenos...


  1. The pudding sounds delicious! I'm putting that on my list right now ...

    I don't know what to tell you about the beans (though my husband posted a comment over at our blog for you) ... If it were me I guess I'd just try it on a day when I had lots of time and no particular schedule for the beans, and put them in, and check them periodically and take notes?

  2. The pudding sounds delicious!

    I always soak my beans the night before with a splash of apple cider vinegar then drain and rinse them well before cooking. Be sure to cook them slowly (imagine a nice bubbling hot tub) until when you put a few on a spoon and blow on them the skin cracks. When they get close but not done you add salt at the end, adding it sooner will make them tough (or cooking in salted broth). Good luck!