This recipe has served my family for years. It’s a favorite of young and old – comfort food of the finest order. When I make a large batch, it’s gone in an evening if I’m entertaining family and friends. But often I make it and freeze individual containers for a quick, nutritious meal when I’m too tired to cook.

As with many of my recipes, this one is adaptable for all kinds of eaters. It can be made, deliciously, for vegetarians. With a few minor adjustments, it can be a carnivores delight.

The beans couldn’t be easier and are loaded with flavor – not to mention fiber and protein. Fragrant sautéed vegetables add vitamins and zest.

It’s yummy with bits of leftover chicken mixed in or as a side for grilled pork tenderloin. My daughter loves it mixed with grilled tofu.

For my family, the mixed grains are key to this dish, though plain brown or white rice – even a quick box of Spanish rice – work well.

My favorite grain mix consists of equal parts of brown rice, barley, farro, and wheat berries. I’ll often throw some wild rice in for color and texture as well as its earthy taste. If I’m making a vegetarian meal, I’ll cook the grains in vegetable broth, otherwise I use chicken broth. For every cup of grains, I use 2 ½ cups of liquid, then cook for about an hour, first bringing the broth to a boil and then simmering for about an hour, or until the liquid is absorbed.

Now that you have the key to the grains, click here for my Black Bean recipe …and enjoy!