This mix of beans and grains are courtesy of Trader Joe's. Their complimentary coffee and food samples always brings me back to their store, not to mention their tasty products. It's like a really casual healthy food store, and then some. There is only one thing that I can remember disliking that I purchased at Trader Joe's. It was a carrot ginger muffin made with oats. The kids refused to eat them and I can't remember if I had more than one.
Everything else has been spot on. My family's favorite is the orange chicken, it comes frozen and you basically heat and serve. Nowadays we've forgone the chicken for some vegan friendly options like the 17 Bean and Barley Soup. It comes as a 1 pound bag of dried beans and grains with the recipe on the back which is good. I executed the recipe a little differently than suggested (which is the one you'll find below) and it worked out well. I only soaked the beans for about an hour and a half (the recipe says soaking is optional) and the beans took quite a bit longer to cook than directed, about 30-40 minutes longer to be exact. When the soup started drying out before the beans were done I added a bit more water and continued boiling. Hearty, comforting, and well worth the wait.
17 Bean & Barley Soup
2 cups TJ's 17 Bean Barley Soup Mix
2-32 oz vegetable broth
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight (optional) in large pot of water, then rinse and drain. In a large pot, saute the onion, celery, carrot, pepper, basil and garlic in olive oil until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Pour in vegetable broth and beans and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium or medium-low and simmer covered for about 1 to 1 1/2 hour, until tender. Be sure to occasionally check liquid level and add more broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 8 hearty servings.
To quick soak dried beans: In a large saucepan, cover dried beans with triple their volume of cold water. Bring water to a boil, then lower heat and cook uncovered beans over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and soak beans for 1 hour. Rinse and drain when ready to use.