Shitake Navy Split Pea Crock Pot Stew


Can’t beat the simplicity of crock pots and simple, healthy foods. Just about fat-free, great, complementary protein dish.


  • 1lb navy beans (7C full beans)
  • 1C split Peas, 1 cup
  • 3.5C (1-28oz can) Diced Tomatoes in Tomato Juice OR equivalent of 4 beef tomatoes
  • 1.5oz. Dried Shitake Mushrooms
  • 12 (30g) Chinese Dried Red Chili Pepper
  • 2T dried oregano
  • 2T parsley flakes
  • 1t cumin


  1. Pre-soak the beans.
  2. If you’re not using canned tomatoes, dice the tomatoes
  3. Take all ingredients except mushrooms and put into a 4Q+ crock pot.
  4. Fill with water to 1″ from brim.
  5. Add dried mushrooms (no need to soak).
  6. Cover and put on “low for 8 hours.


Yield: 12-1C servings


Prep time: 5 Elapsed time: 8 hours (plus bean soak time

Cocoa Venison (or Tofu) Lentil Rice Chili


Cocoa adds an interesting flavor to the mix. Add habanero, serrano, or other peppers as you see fit. All you need with this amazing complete protein is a little salad!



  • 2lb Venison (substitute 1.5lb seitan or 2lb. extra firm tofu)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves (~1 bulb) Garlic
  • 2T ground cumin
  • 2T Paprika
  • .5T ground black pepper


  • 1lb Lentils
  • 1lb Brown Rice, medium grain
  • 1/8C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For added spice, toss in 4 sliced Habanero and a half-dozen Serrano peppers
  • 1.5T Tabasco Sauce
  • 1T ground black pepper


In Crock Pot

  1. Toss in rice and lentils & 7C water.
  2. Add Tabasco, 1T black pepper and cooca
  3. If you’re heating things up, carefully slice the hot peppers and add, with seeds, to the pot

In Skillet

  1. Fry up the onions in the oil.
  2. Add the remaining spices until well blended.
  3. Add the protein and sliced garlic.
  4. Stir until browned.

When Rice/Lentils are done, toss in the skillet contents into the crock pot and stir in well. Let cook on low for an hour or two.

D. Serve and curl toes as appropriate.

Yield: 16-1C servings


Prep time: 5 Elapsed time: ~4 hours

Cheap Great Steak


Every year a couple of great friends throw a MudBug Party: a crawfish boil, with plenty of sausage, beer, and other fine drinkables and comestibles. I’m on a fairly tight budget this year, but I wanted to make something my non-mudbug-eating daughter and others might enjoy. Costco trip ensued, and here’s a great dish that has a few serving suggestions at the end of the recipe.


  • 3-4 lbs. Eye-Round Roast (yes, the cheap stuff)
  • 1/2C Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4C low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4C tabasco (or chili flakes if you want more zing and less sodium)
  • 1.5T fresh ground mustard powder
  • 1/4C brown sugar or unsulphured molasses
  • Water sufficient to dilute marinade


  1. Take all ingredients aside from meat and water and pour into saucepan.
  2. Heat until ingredients are well mixed (no need to bring to boil). Add water and continue stirring until you’ve got about 1.5Q of liquid. Set aside from heat and let fully cool. Then refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Take eye-round roast and trim excess fat.
  4. Cutting against the grain, slice into approximately 1/2″-3/4″ medallions.
  5. Pour cooled marinade into a gallon-sized freezer thickness sealable bag.
  6. Place medallions, one at a time, into the marinade. With a wooden spoon, make sure each medallion is fully coated before adding the next.
  7. When they’re all in the bag, remove all air from the bag and gently massage, ensuring that marinade coats all the meat.
  8. Place in fridge for 24 hours, massaging the bag and turning it ever 6-8 hours.
  9. BBQ grill as you would any steak

Serves: 18-24 medallions

Serving Suggestions:


As shown above. I’d taste it before slathering it with any more condiments. The meat, especially if it’s not too well done, is surprisingly juicy and flavorful.

Middle Eastern Style Strips with Pita and Hummus

Cook to medium done. Slice cooked medallions into 1/4″ strips. Taking a pita, add 3-5 strips to a small bed of lettuce and tomatoes. Top with a generous dollop of hummus.

Texas Style Strips with Tortillas and Hummus

Cook to medium done. Slice cooked medallions into 1/4″ strips. Place 2-4 strips on a tortilla already layered with a generous slathering of hummus. Add spanish rice and guacamole to the mix, roll and enjoy.


Prep time: 20 minutes + grilling    Elapsed time:25 hours

Mongolian Steak Shards


Reverse engineered from the Mongolian restaurants, I’ve got this on tap for tomorrow as each kid has their own form of food insanity. Okay, here’s a joke: a carnivore, a vegetarian and a picky eater go into a restaurant. “We’d like to share an entree,” they say.

So this is for the meat-eater. I’ll integrate it into the vegetarian stir-fry (not given here) on my own. And the picky one? She can eat the mac and cheese… 🙂



  • 1/2C Ginger marinade
  • 1/4C Low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 2C water


  • 2.5 lb. beef shoulder
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2T canola oil


  1. Mince the habanero pepper and toss in with liquid marinade ingredients.
  2. Carefully trim fat from shoulder (2.5 lb. shoulder should render at least 1/3C of fat trimmed from meat).
  3. Slice meat across the grain into 1/8″ thick slices. When you come to fat deposits, carve ’em out.
  4. Put meat into marinade, shake well, then squeeze air out of bag and set in refrigerator to soak.
  5. Marinate for 12+ hours
  6. In wok or pan heat up oil. Toss in garlic and onion; stir until softened.
  7. Add strips of meat, making sure each gets browned a bit on both sides when it goes in.
  8. If you like it spicy, strain the marinade and add the habanero peppers.

Don’t overcook! a couple of minutes per slice of meat is more than enough (1 minute/side). Keep the onions and garlic in there until it’s all done, then pour off the remaining liquid and reserve to pour on the meat.

Serve as an entree or add to a larger stir fry. Serving sized based on a 3oz serving of meat. You’ll get a discount on the sodium since you’re not actually using all of it, but I’m not accounting for that. (So feel good about yourself but the numbers will have a separate statement for the press.) 🙂

Serves: 12


Prep time: 25 minutes Elapsed time: 12.5 hours

Power Mayocoba Bean Chili: Vegan and Carnivorous Versions


This is a continuation of my saga with the mayocoba bean. Brilliant little food. No gas, no muss, no fuss. Meaty, lightly flavored. The salt pork version on the original bean bags was nice, but I live in Texas, after all, and we here… we here need to show how tough we are (ever since it became illegal to literally punch cattle). I’ve got lots of vegetarian, vegan and kosher-keeping friends, so I needed something I could do for them that wouldn’t be tough. Born is this dish. I’ve made it in a kitchen next to stables and in urban kitchens around town. Oh, and at home.

The ingredients lists are split both for vegan and for spicy components. Remember, one from each column, not all at once!


The base

  • 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • Canola oil for frying

Mild Spicing


  • 2T cumin
  • 1t tumeric
  • 1-1/2t fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 bulb garlic or jarred dized garlic
  • 3 Chipotle peppers, diced and seeded
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and slivered

Hot Spicing


  • 3T cumin
  • 2t tumeric
  • 2t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bulb fresh garlic, peeled
  • 7 Serrano peppers, sliced into rounds, with seeds
  • 3 Chipotle peppers, diced, with seeds
  • If you really insist: 5 Habanero peppers, chopped, with seeds. Oh, what the heck, just add Bhut Jolokia peppers to the pot and be done with it!


Vegan or Carnivore?

  1. 1 large purple onion and two large eggplant
  2. 2 lb. venison, bison, boar, yak, or ground meat of your choice



  1. Soak the mayacoba beans for at least a day, changing the water at least twice. You can quick soak the beans by thoroughly rinsing them, then putting them in a pot with 2x height of water. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Keep tightly covered (why cast iron pots were invented?) for an hour. Drain and rinse again — they’re ready for cooking.
  2. Wash the beans a final time, then toss ’em in a VERY large pot (5+ quarts) and add enough water so they’re fully covered. Start it boiling with the lid on.
  3. If you’re making the carnivorous version, cut the frozen meat into discs, or the thawed meat into small fist-sized chunks.
  4. If you’re making the vegan version, take the onion, roughly chop it, then saute it to the point of carmelization. Then take the eggplant, wash the skins well, and slice into ~1/2″ thick slices. Cover ’em on both sides with salt and lay them down on paper or cloth towels for at least 20 minutes. After that time, rinse all the salt off, cut each slice into 4-6 pieces, and saute until entirely brown and tender. Set aside.

    The base

  5. 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  6. 2 large yellow onions
  7. Canola oil for frying
  8. Chop peppers and onions into 1/2″ to 1″ squares.
  9. Smash the garlic cloves then chop finely. Put them into a skillet with 2T canola oil and saute 2 minutes
  10. Add all the spices (remember to use a gas mask if you’re going full Bhut Jolokia on it!)
  11. Fry it up until the oil is entirely permeated with the spices (then notify hazmat that the dead birds in the area are just collateral chili damage)
  12. Toss all the spices in with the beans. If you’re a going to eat meat, now’s the time to toss it all in.
  13. Vegans, prep your rabbit food now (see above “ingredients”).
  14. Still every three or four minutes.
  15. After 20 minutes at full boil, reduce to a simmer.
  16. Simmer for another 30-40 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes to make sure nothing’s sticking to (or burning on) the bottom.

For vegetarians, add onions and eggplant to the beans in the bowl from which you’ll be eating (not the serving dish).

This is a salt-free recipe (unless you didn’t wash the eggplant well enough). Add your own.

Serves: 6-10 folks



Prep time: 15 minutes net        Elapsed time: 90-100 minutes

Cinnamon Chili Stew


I’ve loved mayacoba beans (also called yellow or Peruvian beans). At my local store there was a recipe on the back of the bag, calling for a crock pot, cumin, onions and salt pork. Tried it, liked it, but wanted something more interesting and healthier. Given that this vunderbeans don’t have any sugars (all complex carbs), it’s replaced almost every other bean (except chickpeas). It’s great for Sunday cooking for food for the week. It’s also great for winter parties: it cooks while the party gathers, and it’s hot and ready 90 minutes after the party starts.

It’s just about fat free, except for oil used for frying or what’s in meat (if meat’s used). There’s little salt added — it can be entirely omitted so it’s even healthier. Spicing is to normal human standards; if you’re looking for something with more punch, check out my Power Mayacoba Bean Chili.


  • 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1/2 lb. any solid green veggie you want: asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper (leafy veggies will not last in the pot).
  • 2 lb. frozen venison or absurdly lean ground meat or poultry / 2 lb. 2″ cubed extra firm tofu
  • Oil for frying
  • 1.5T ground cinnamon
  • 2T cumin
  • 4T chili powder (I use 90k cayenne) or 3T hot dry BBQ rub powder (it has salt in it)
  • 3T Tabasco® sauce / any vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 2t tumeric
  • 1T salt / 1T reduced sodium salt / no salt


  • Make the beans vegan but without the tofu. When you want to eat some, toss cheese / soy cheese into the beans and stir. Yum!


  1. Soak the mayacoba beans for at least a day, changing the water at least twice
  2. Wash the beans a final time, then toss ’em in a VERY large pot (5+ quarts) and add enough water so they’re fully covered. Start it boiling with the lid on.
  3. Chop the onions into ~2″ lengths
  4. Chop the veggies (we all need our greens) and sautè them as well, just until they’re all warmed up and glistening
  5. For meat: Take the frozen venison roll and slice it into thick patties (1-2″ thick). No need to defrost or brown. If it’s already thawed, skip this step.
  6. For tofu: chop the tofu, then fry in oil at high heat (to give it a bit of a skin)
  7. Once the beans are boiling, add all the spices. Put lid back on.
  8. Wait 10 minutes.
  9. Add the meat/tofu and veggies.
  10. Let it come back up to a full, roiling boil, then reduce it to a simmer and take off the lid.
  11. If you used frozen meat, start breaking up the frozen discs starting 10 minutes after it comes back to a simmer.
  12. Stir every 10 minutes or so.
  13. If it’s too watery, up the heat a bit.
  14. If, at the end of 90 minutes from first bean boil (#7) it’s still too watery, either pour through colander, or add arrowroot or cornflour to thicken into stew.


This feeds a large number of people (makes 10-16 bowls of chili/stew), depending on what you put into it.


Prep time: 10 minutes.    Elapsed time: 90 minutes (not including soaking beans)