Posts tagged ‘beans’

May 10, 2011

Wheatberry Chili

Have you ever had a wheatberry? Aren’t they just darling?

I first met these little guys at the Whole Foods cold bar. Cooked and cooled wheatberries were just hanging out among all of the other salad add-ins as if it was totally normal. No big deal, just a wheatberry pretending to be a regular salad ingredient like peppers and carrots and cucs.

Yeah, right. Wheatberries are a way bigger deal than chopped veggies.

If you want to give them a whirl, look for hard red winter wheat in the bulk bins of your local natural food store, like Whole Foods. These are an absolute cinch to make (cinch meaning you can do other things while they simmer away!) and are perfectly delicious all on their own but way better when you dress them up a bit.


Typical procedure for wheatberries…

  • Place whatever amount of wheatberries you need in a pot and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Drain about 90% of the water out.
  • These will keep in your refrigerator in a closed container for up to 10 days!

I kept stirring last week’s batch into my oatmeal but when I saw Kath’s Sunday dinner last week, I knew I had to try it! I didn’t have the fancy pants packaged kit and spices like she did but I’m pretty sure I know how to make a decent chili without the help!

Wheatberry Chili

serves 2- 4, depending on portion size


  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 can organic kidney beans, rinsed well (Eden’s Organics are great)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon peperoncino (red pepper flakes)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste (~ half can)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Follow the typical procedure for the wheatberries, reserving slightly more of the water to add to the chili.
  • Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients. Then add the diced tomatoes, beans, onion, red bell pepper, and carrots to a large pot and allow to cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Add in the spices and tomato paste, stirring well, and cook until the wheatberries are done.
  • Add in the cooked wheatberries. 
  • Here’s where I made my mistake. I forgot to allow the veggies ample time to soften (I was ravenous)…so instead of digging in immediately after adding the wheatberries, cook for another 20 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced by a fork.

Top with whatever you like! Avocado, cheese, corn bread, corn chips…salsa…go nuts.

Despite the slightly underdone texture of the carrots, this was such a filling, feel-good meal. My roommate also had her share and she couldn’t believe that even after riding 50 miles that day, she was stuffed!

Just a little microwaved broccoli hanging out in the background.

I’ll admit…it was also underdone.

Just not my night for vegetables, I guess 😉

April 17, 2011

Blown Away

Whew! What a day.

The weathermen (thankfully) got it all wrong! Rain threatened to put a stop to our regular Sunday morning ride (well, what we hope will be regular…it’s early in the season, yet!) but wooohoo! The sun came out!

Once we agreed to head out at 2:30, my mind started plotting out lunch. I completely ran out of steam toward the end of last week’s ride so I knew a lunch that would stick with me through at least the first half of the loop was on the menu.

Whole spelt English muffin (from Vermont Bread Co.) topped with a bit of melted fresh mozarella and smoked salmon. Crunchy kale chips on the side!

Have you tried spelt flour before? I don’t really notice a difference in taste compared to wheat flour but I always get a secret thrill from trying different grains =)

A granny smith apple and a handfull of Terra sweet potato chips didn’t make it to the photoshoot but trust me, they were delicious.

We did the same 30-mile loop as last week but allowed ourselves to take a nice sammie break in Concord center (a few dried dates got me through until our snack break). The wind was something fierce! We kept pushing forward but it wanted nothing more than to beat us back. Wind riding is hard work! There were more than a few times that I was convinced I would be swept right off the road.

Ezekiel’s whole grain cinnamon raisin toast with Teddy’s organic creamy peanut butter and half of a banana. PERFECT mid-ride fuel. We both could have gone for a whole sandwich but a full belly doesn’t exactly make for a pleasant ride home.

Surgical bear socks made an appearance today =) That’s a story for another time…

We stayed by the cemetery just before the center of town to avoid the Patriots’ Day crowds but it turned out to also be a much more interesting spot to rest. So many important Americans lived and died in the Concord area but we were even more fascinated by the rest of the gravestones.

Do you see the dates? Sarah passed away exactly one month after her husband, William. I so wish we could know about the lives of all of these regular Concord-dwellers, not just the famous writers, politicians, and men of war. I like to think Sarah suffered a broken heart.

We arrived home right at dinnertime and my stomach was staging a revolt. Good thing beans and rice are easy and mega tasty.

I prepared a cup of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley in my rice cooker while getting the beans ready.

Spiced Black Beans

1 can black beans (I used Eden’s Organic unsalted)

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup water

tobasco or hot sauce

Throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the beans have softened. Add a few dashes of tobasco sauce.

This is a great bean recipe for just about anything – burritos, tacos, salsas, salads.

If I had a wide, shallow bowl then I would have layered spinach at the bottom, rice in the middle, and beans on top, topped with a bit of spicy salsa. You should probably do just that and send me the photographs. Thanks 😉

Perfect Sunday. Marathon Monday tomorrow!

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