Dried beans are an easily-stored, year-round source of protein. The locally-grown commercial supply is limited, but we gardeners can grow our own. Dry beans can be shucked by hand or by bicycled-powered thresher! I have grown black beans the past two years and am delighted when I can make a pot of Black Bean Chili using my own beans.
Black Bean Chili
Localvore Notes: This recipe is flexible. Experiment with what you have! Remember to soak and cook beans and wheat/rye berries in advance. Makes 6-8 servings.
4-5 cups cooked black beans
2-3 cups cooked wheat berries or rye berries*
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 ½ c chopped onion
1 c each, chopped celery (or celeriac), carrots, green peppers (In winter you may have only carrots – do 2 cups.)
2 c chopped tomatoes or some homemade salsa or spaghetti sauce
2 T cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chili powder or more, to taste
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne or more, to taste
oil or butter for saute
Saute onions and garlic in oil or butter. Add carrots, celery, and spices. When veggies are almost done, add peppers. If you have some dried hot peppers you could crush and add. Cook until tender. If you have a local dry red wine you could add 3 Ts. Combine all ingredients and heat together gently.
Can be topped with grated cheese. Great with corn bread or warm tortillas. A nice addition to any potluck meal. (Leftovers make delicious burritos and chimichangas.)
* Local organic wheat berries and rye berries are available in bulk at the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, VT.