I didn’t realize until traveling to Europe and Morocco, how underutilized whole grains, or cereals as the Europeans call them, are in the diets of Americans. Or the hubby’s and my diet.
Barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, farro, whole wheat couscous, whole corn, quinoa, sorghum, whole oats, rice and bulgar wheat are all whole grains. The Europeans also use a decent amount of spelt and sprouted seeds as well.
Americans tend to eat a few whole grains in breakfast cereals and the occasional trendy ones like quinoa. And of course, popcorn! But overall, most Americans don’t focus on making whole grains a regular part of their diet. More often, Americans tend to eat the overly processed flours, which really doesn’t have much taste and lacks heavily in nutrition.
The nutty, sweet flavors of the different grains are beautiful. And so nutritious! Heart healthy, weight reduction, lots of fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, help guard against diabetes and so many more fantastic reasons eating them. But instead of focusing on the healthy reasons for eating whole grains, I’m going to focus on the yummy reasons for eating them. Health magazine’s article 18 Health Benefits of Whole Grains, gives a detailed account for all the healthy reasons to eat whole grains.
Whole grains are excellent on their own and can easily be the star of the show. You can use them as meat substitutes in many dishes, without ever missing the meat. They also make wonderful side dishes. Not to mention, how cheap whole grains are (discounting the cost of trendy grains) and easy to make.
You already know I love vegetarian chilies. If you don’t remember, check out my recipe for Southwestern Butternut Squash Chili. Whole grains are perfect for vegetarian chilies because of the “meaty,” hearty tastiness. Vegetarian Buckwheat and Black Bean Chili, coming here, as I embrace using them in our diet. This chili is “meaty,”tasty and filling. Perfect for warming up on cold days or those game days, which are right around the corner.
While I didn’t have any at the time, I could see this recipe also benefiting from the addition of some sweet corn. And do remember to use your favorite flavors of chilies. After all, that is the fun of working with chili, since it’s so versatile and customizable to the heat levels and flavors you enjoy.
Let me know what you think of my Vegetarian Buckwheat and Black Bean Chili and please feel free to send me your favorite ways to use whole grains.
Vegetarian Buckwheat and Black Bean Chili
You won't be missing the meat, with this spicy vegetarian chili is loaded with vegetables, buckwheat and plenty of spice.
2 vegetable bouillon cubes or use stock
8 to 10 cups or 1,000 grams of water or stock
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 large medium-hot chili pepper, finely chopped
1/2 Thai chili, finely chopped
1/2 large hot yellow chili, finely chopped
1 15 oz. or 400 gram can of whole tomatoes and juices, hand mashed
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. hot chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups or 200 grams uncooked buckwheat
4 cups or 800 grams of cooked black beans
If using bouillon cubes, drop cubes into the water to dissolve and set aside until needed.
Add oil to a large pot. Over medium heat, saute the onions until soft, before adding the garlic, carrots, peppers and chilies.
Mix in coriander, cumin, paprika and chili powder. Cook until fragrant, then toss in the tomatoes and buckwheat. Stir well.
Pour in stock or water with bouillon cubes to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 to 35 minutes. Cooking time depends on how soft you like your buckwheat. I prefer it just over al dente in this recipe because it closely matches the texture of meat at that point.
Add in the black beans, cook for a few more minutes. Do not overcook or you will have mushy beans and buckwheat. Not a great combination.
Check seasoning again and then serve hot with your choice of toppings.
Like most chilies, this one is better the next day as the flavor melds.
Here are more Vegetarian Chili Recipes for You to Enjoy: