Friday, March 6, 2009

Recipe: Little Grove Chili (vegan)

Yesterday, I visited Phipps Country Store (formerly known as Phipps Ranch) in order to pick up some beans. I am participating in a chili cook-off today and have created a chili that makes use of delicious heirloom beans and wheat berries.

This is what I picked up:

Pinquito beans and Desert Pebble beans
from Phipps Country Store and Farm in Pescadero, CA

The pinquito's are a real delight. Slightly sweet with a complex heartiness to their flavor. They are the perfect chili bean. The Desert Pebbles are inspiring as well. Although lacking the richness of the pinquito's they enjoy the same steadiness of flavor as potatoes do and I expect they'll take on the chili flavors very well.

I also picked up a good chili powder. I ended up using the entire bottle for the competition batch. The recipe below is family-sized.

Little Grove Heirloom Bean Chili with Wheat Berries


  • 1/2 cup Phipps-grown Desert Pebble beans (dry)
  • 1/2 cup Pinquito beans (dry)
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup hard winter wheat berries (dry)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons Phipps Country Store chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup water (optional)

  • Directions

    1. Prepare the beans: Soak beans in enough water to cover overnight. Alternately, place beans in large pot with 2" of water to cover. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 1 hour.
    2. Rinse beans thoroughly after soaking.
    3. Prepare the wheat berries: Rinse wheat berries in cold water. Place wheat berries, salt, and 1 3/4 cup water in saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Drain and let sit while preparing next ingredients.
    4. In large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
    5. Add tomatoes, chili powder, beans, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar to pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
    6. Add red pepper flakes and wheat berries. Allow to simmer another 30 minutes.
    7. Add water, if desired, to preferred consistency of chili.
      Update: I didn't win the cook-off tonight but I did get to enjoy many other excellent chilis!
    Nutrition information courtesy of

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