Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Variations on a stew

It all began with Wheat Berry Stew, and even that was a variation. Next to follow was Lentil Cannellini Bean Stew.

A few days back, I wanted to make such a stew, but had only a few cannellini beans so I came up with a new one.

I cleverly named it Bean, Lentil, and Grains Stew:

Put in crockpot:
1/4 cup cannellini beans
1/4 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup yellow lentils (same as in the Lentil Stew above) Addendum: 12/13/10 used black lentils with excellent results
1/2 cup bulgur

Cover with around 3 cups water.
Add 1 t. tumeric and 1 1/2 t. cumin or 1 1/2 t. tumeric and 1 t. cumin (try both ways and see which you like better)
Cook on high until beans and grains are soft and water is absorbed.

In the meantime, peel and dice a few potatoes. Cook until soft, but not mushy. Drain.
Addendum: 3/11 - I put in 1/4 cup brown rice with the grains and beans and didn't add potatoes. Was excellent.

Put beans and grains mix, and potatoes into big saucepan.
Add about 2 cups tomato sauce.
Stir well and heat at low temp.

It was excellent, and as you may notice a sort of combination of the Wheat Berry and the Lentil Stews. Sadly, I didn't take a picture of it.

I call today's "B" Stew, for reasons you will quickly note:

Put in crockpot:
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup black eyed peas
1/2 cup bulgur
1/4 cup barley

1/4 t. garlic granules
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. tumeric
1/8 t. chili powder
dash of salt and pepper

Cover with about 3 cups of water.

Again, when the beans and grains are soft, transfer them to a big saucepan.
Again, peel and chop and cook (in a separate saucepan) some potatoes until they are soft, but not mushy.
Add them to the "b" mix.
Again add 2 cups tomato sauce.

In truth, these stews don't vary that much one to another in taste, but the diner gets the health benefits of a variety of beans and grains, and the cook (often one and the same) gets the fun of trying new combinations. The important fact seems to be that you can't go wrong with tomato sauce and potatoes. Try whatever grains and beans you like and have fun. I'm finding this a perfect activity for these snowy/freezing rainy wintry days. Serve with any muffins, biscuits, rolls, or bread you wish.


  1. Mmmmmm.... this looks so delicious! Sounds like a lot of work though.

  2. What great looking stew. You've inspired me to make up a crockpot full of hearty, wholesome goodness.

  3. Sounds and looks delicious and what hearty warming fare to combat the cold winter weather!

  4. Thank you for the great recipe ideas, Nan. I love any kind of bean soup.

  5. Kay, not nearly as much as I imagine people put into cooking meat dishes. :<) I mostly put it in and let the crockpot do the work - other than the potatoes.
    Earth Heart, hope it turns out great!
    K, I just love the stuff - all the different variations.
    Violet Lady, me, too, though as a child I never would eat beans. Of course then the only offer was baked beans, which I still don't like. :<)

  6. Hi Nan - thanks for visiting my blog. I have to say that I tried a few wheat berry recipes particular a salad. I liked the chewiness of it, but my family went into a major 'nose wrinkle' perhaps I will have to make this stew for myself...

  7. Deborah, taste is such a personal thing, whether in books or food. There are foods which I see people eating that I couldn't eat, ever. And they look at my choices the same way. :<)

  8. This sounds great. I had to laugh at your comment that they don't taste all that different from each other. This time of year the freshest veggies are all the same. We are stuck in between and I have to take similar ingredients and try to dress them up with different flavors and spices.

    I've bookmarked this page for more lentil ideas.

  9. Beth, thanks for coming back to read it. I love all these stew recipes. And they are so healthy!


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