Smitten Kitchen Red Bean and Green Grain Taco Bowl

slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen

Deb Perelman writes: You can go high or low, fast or slow, with these ingredients. I used hard white wheat berries, which take a full hour to cook, but have a tiny chewy bite that’s my current favorite, but you could use farro, freekeh, barley, quinoa, brown rice or another grain you like here, just adjust the cooking time and liquid amount to the package directions. I used red beans I’d soaked and cooked this weekend, but you could use canned as well, to save time. (Goya are my absolute favorite for reliably intact and un-mushy beans from a can.) Minus the sour cream or any added cheese, this dish is vegan as well as vegetarian. Finally, my grains aren’t terribly green because I’m distracted these days, but if you hold back some green puree until the end, it will brighten up the whole dish.

Serves 2 to 3

Grains
2 fresh poblano chile peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves (picked from 1 bunch)
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups water or broth (amount needed for wheat berries, adjust if needed)
1 cup uncooked wheatberries
Salt to taste

Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water or broth
1 3/4 cups cooked small red beans or pinto beans (from a 15-ounce can, or cooked from about 1/4 pound dried)
Honey and Kosher or coarse salt to taste

Fixings
Minced white onion or picked red onions, lime wedges, hot sauce, pickled jalapenos, sour cream or Mexican crema, sliced avocado, pico de galo, crumbled or shredded cheese or some crumbled tortilla chips if you’re having trouble convincing your child to try it

Make green grains: In a blender or food processor, combine poblanos, cilantro, onion and garlic with a splash of cooking broth or water and puree until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine wheat berries, remaining cooking water or broth, 3/4 of green puree and salt to taste over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cover, cooking for 1 hour, or until grains are chewy-tender. Add remaining green puree and cook for 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, make red beans: In a smaller saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add herbs & spices and tomato paste and cook together for 1 minute. Add water or broth, beans, honey and salt to taste and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes on low.

Assemble and eat: For each bowl, Deb likes about 2/3 grains and 1/3 beans, but you can go half-half as well. Top with desired fixings, don’t hold back. (The sour cream was particularly awesome here, in our opinion, although decidedly un-vegan.) Repeat as needed.

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Published in: on March 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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