Do you know where I can find a concise chart of healthy (maybe traditional?) beans/grains/greens combinations?
August 20, 2011 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Do you know where I can find a concise chart of healthy (maybe traditional?) beans/grains/greens combinations?

I'm looking for an easy-to-reference chart of nutritionally balanced combinations of beans, grains, and veges. I feel like I have no trouble free-forming the addition of fats and meats to a dish, but the base of the meal is tougher for me. So I want a chart that lists things to have on hand & makes connections between common and healthy combinations. For example, it might list the following items then draw a connection between corn, red beans & squash as being a time-tested and healthy trio:

grains: oats, corn flour, barley
beans: lentils, white beans, red beans
greens/veges: kale, squash, swiss chard

The Jungle Effect was helpful in this regard and there are millions of websites on the subject, but it seems like the base meal info is buried deep in and amongst all the wonderful looking recipes and thread discussions. I'm just looking for the bare essentials here – something I can print out & keep with my shopping list.
posted by jenmakes to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure what you mean by 'nutritionally balanced'. Is there some suggestion that certain combinations of these foods are more healthful than others? For example, oats, lentils and kale is OK, but swap the kale for chard and suddenly you've got some sort of super food? Any combination of beans, grains and vegetables is likely to be healthy, as will a diet centered on these ingredients (see, for example, the traditional diet of Crete).

If you just want some traditional recipes using these ingredients, I highly recommend Paula Wolfert's Grains and Greens.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:02 AM on August 21, 2011

Are you looking for plants that have been traditionally grown together, so that we believe they taste good together (like the Three Sisters in your example, or like tomatoes and peppers or basil, or potatoes and carrots or horseradish)? If so, there's the List of companion plants on wikipedia.

If you mean matching vegetables for amino acids, I think that's not been done since the 1980s or so, as we found that it wasn't important to match incomplete proteins at every meal.

Or are you asking specifically about a list of the foods in The Jungle Effect as they correlate with cold spots?
posted by Houstonian at 5:55 AM on August 21, 2011

I'm just asking for things that have been eaten together for a long long time, presumably because the combinations both tasted good, kept everybody reasonably healthy, and were grown near each other - like the Three Sisters.
posted by jenmakes at 6:51 AM on August 21, 2011

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