September 27, 2012

Mixed Bean Vegan Chili


Fall is upon us. Even with the indian summer fighting it off, the changes in the air are apparent. The sun is not as strong, the mornings and evenings are cool enough for a sweater, and leaving the windows open at night is becoming a source of fresh cool air. If you like to eat foods that are seasonal like me, it is also noticeable in the grocery stores where the prime displays of tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn are being replaced by a selection of apples, winter squash varieties, and root vegetables. When the seasonal produce starts to show, no matter what season is upon us, I get inspired.

This chili is a great dish to enjoy all year round, but I always find that warm filling comfort foods like this are most desirable when there is a little chill in the air. I know there are die hard chili fans out there who like their chili made with meat, but this one is as hearty and flavorful as it is healthful. I would also like to add that it is extremely easy to make, relatively quick cooking in under 90 minutes start to finish, and freezes well for another day. It can be enjoyed as is or as a stew served over steamed brown rice, quinoa, creamy polenta, or tamales. Top it with your choice of fresh and vibrant condiments to complete this very satisfying and kid approved meal.

Mixed Bean Chili (vegan)
Serves 10-12
For all ingredients, please use those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange, and or/ yellow, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
3 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground corriander
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
2 28 ounce cans chopped or crushed tomatoes
6 cups beans, pinto, kidney, navy, or any firm yet creamy bean
Dry beans are ideal, but time consuming as they need to be soaked overnight and cooked. Think ahead next time you are soaking beans and make extra to use for chili. For this recipe, I had a surplus of both pinto and kidney beans and combined them. Canned beans are fine to use. If using canned, drain and rinse 2 cups of them before using.
For serving, consider the following choices:
  avocado, cubed
  red onion, diced
  sliced scallions
  fresh cilantro leaves
  fresh lime wedges
  toasted pepitas
  oven baked tortilla chips
  sweet pea guacamole
  hot sauce
Heat the olive in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle it with a little sea salt, and cook for about 5-10 minutes until it begins to soften.
Add the peppers, jalapeno, and garlic and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add the green chilis, oregano, cumin, coriander, and chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate the spices and cook for a minute or two.
Add the beans and tomatoes. Stir and allow the chili to come to nearly a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about an hour until the mixture thickens.
Taste for seasonings. At this point, you might want to add more salt, cumin, chili powder, or even hot sauce to create flavors to your liking.
Serve immediately or save for later. There will be enough to serve about 10 people or to freeze for those days when you don’t want to cook.





Categories: Beans & Legumes, Soups & Stews

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