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Vegan Cook's Bible
by Pat Crocker
An easy weekend recipe, this is a simple version of slow-cooked, fire-baked Boston beans. Freeze small batches to serve with salads, steamed vegetables, rice and breakfast dishes.
Serves 8 to 10

• 2 cups dried white or navy (pea) beans
• 1 cup wheat berries
• 1/2 oz. dried wild mushrooms or 1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
• 3 dried Chinese black fungi (mushrooms) or portobello mushrooms (see Tips)
• 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (3 oz)
• 4 onions, chopped
• 1 cup whole pitted dates
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or packed brown sugar
• 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
• 1 tbsp hot pepper flakes or chipotle flakes
• 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 tsp dry mustard

• Slow cooker (see Tips)

. Rinse beans and remove any debris. In a large pot, combine beans, wheat berries and 12 cups boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour. Drain and rinse.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine dried wild mushrooms, black fungi and 2 cups boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove wild mushrooms. Let black fungi stand for another 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquor. Coarsely chop mushrooms and set aside.

3. In a bowl, combine sun-dried tomatoes with 2 cups  boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquor. Cut sun-dried tomatoes into thin slices and set aside.

4. In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, wheat berries, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and 6 cups boiling water. Using a cheesecloth-lined strainer, strain tomato and mushroom liquors into stoneware.

5. Add onions, dates, maple syrup, rice syrup, tamari, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil and mustard powder. Cover and cook on Low for about 10 hours or until beans are tender and sauce is thick and dark.

• To use the oven: Preheat oven to 325°F and use a Dutch oven or stoneware casserole with a lid. Follow Steps 1 through 5, then bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 hours. Halfway through the cooking time, stir and check that there is enough liquid in the pot. Add up to 1/4 cup water as required.
• If substituting fresh portobello mushrooms for the dried Chinese black fungi (mushrooms), coarsely chop them and skip Step 2. You may need to add up to 1/2  of water in Step 4 if using fresh mushrooms.



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