Southwestern Bean Medley

The secret to great meatless food is the same as the secret to all good food. A deep, rich sauce that ties all the components together and gives a luscious mouth-feel to every bite.

Extracting a deep, rich sauce from veg and beans is probably easier than doing it for meat and fish. The starches in the beans and grains really work in our favor in this case.

Skins and ends from 1 large red onion
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 poblano peppers, cut into strips
1 jalapeno, minced
1 serrano, minced

1/2 cup red wine
1 tbl red wine vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsps sriracha
1/2 tsp habernero hot sauce
2 tsps spicy mustard
1 tsp canola oil
2-4 cups water
3 tbls butter or vegan margarine

1 can low sodium yellow corn, plus a little of the can liquid
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup lentils
1 can garbanzo, plus 1/2 the can liquid

2 tsps paprika
2 tsps thyme
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper

Create a broth from the onion pieces, wine, vinegar, oil, 2 cups water, salt and pepper.

To do that, bring that to a boil in a large covered pot and then simmer for 15 minutes until a dark liquid is formed. Strain out onion pieces, keeping the liquid.

To your broth add remaining ingredients, except butter.

Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes. Adding more water as needed to cook the lentils and barley until tender and to keep a thick sauce in the pot.  The starches from the beans and barley will thicken the liquid nicely.

When the lentils and barley are tender turn off the heat and stir in the butter or margarine to finish the sauce.

Store some of the sauce separately for drizzling when serving.

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