I was already in Trader Joe’s buying ingredients to make my homemade vegetarian chili when I spied something I’d never seen before: TJ’s 17 Bean & Barley Mix. This could only bode well for my future chili. I bought two bags and hurried home.
This dried bean and barley mix boasts an impressive 17 bean varieties. Yup, count ‘em, they’re all there (if you count lentils and various types of peas as beans, that is).
Check out the nutritional information: all that protein, fiber, and iron. Yes, please.
What a gorgeous assortment.
Heck, the packaging is even super helpful, providing two options for prepping – a long soak and quick soak method. I did the quick soak and the beans came out perfectly. I used the whole bag and found they really bulked up after soaking. I split the entire amount in half, some for my chili and the rest I’ll keep in the fridge for next weekend.
After the quick soak, I added half of the bean and barley mix to my already simmering vegetarian chili.
After 3 hours of low and slow bubbling, I packaged it up into 5 portions for work lunches this week. This all-veggie chili with a hearty bean and barley base clocks in at 539 calories per serving. All that fiber and protein keep me full until dinner. Not to mention it’s warm, comforting, and bursting with flavor.
I definitely will be buying TJ’s bean and barley mix again to make chili. I can’t wait to think up more applications too!
(Product reviews are never sponsored; they are just my musings on products I’ve tried and want to share with you.)
Have you ever tried a pressure cooker to speed things up? I like that its faster but sometimes the flavor doesn’t develop as well the first day though left overs are awesome the next day! It helps me when I forget to soak the beans ahead of time. I just toss the dried beans in oil before adding the water to the pressure cooker to keep the skins from self-destructing. Once the beans cook through, usually under an hour, make the rest of the recipe, then re-lid the pressure cooker and cook it. I made curry this way with frozen uncooked chicken breasts on the bone and dried chickpeas and I got it on the table in under 2 hours. I look forward to trying your recipe sometime soon. My husband likes Chili better than Curry!
Sounds easy, I will try that next time!
Trader Joe’s does not carry this product anymore, however you can buy a 15 bean pkg. at almost any grocery store and make it the same way. My problem is everyone says the beans are tender in 1 1/2 hrs. but I’ve made this a dozen times and the beans take 4-5 hrs. to be tender. What’s up with that? I soak them overnight every time. Why does it take me so long to get the beans cooked?