Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

You know that song about the cat that just keeps coming back? Well, that's what winter seems to be doing to us. Oh, how I thought that Spring was in the air. Things were warming up. No more frost. Beautiful green fields. We went away for a trip to Rome, and I had expectations that we would return home to flowers peeking through the ground. When we landed in Amsterdam, there were no flowers - just frost and ice...and snow. Guess I will have to hold off bringing my open-toed shoes out of storage a little bit longer.

In the mean time, I will make the most of the chilly weather and enjoy some Vegetarian Black Bean Chili. I love Chili. It is a perfect cold-weather-comfort-food. That said, I am quite picky about my Chili. It needs to be smooth, thick (but not too thick), deep flavor, full of good stuff and no meat. Unfortunately, I find a lot of vegetarian chili's are too....froofy. So I found one of my favorites and changed it up a bit! Unfortunately, my computer crashed so there is no photo to post, but I can assure you it looks and tastes delicious!

The original recipe, if you're interested, can be found HERE

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

1/2 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small bell pepper, seeded and finely diced (I used half red and half orange pepper)
1/4 cup tomato paste (four big spoonfuls)
 1 15-ounce can black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, undrained (or use two cans of black beans)
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies OR  2 green chilies, finely chopped (*See note)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
optional: cocoa powder **see note

Heat the water in a large skillet or pot. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add tomato paste, beans and their liquid, chilies, cumin and chili powder. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until flavors are blended. (Insiders tip: Chili is one of those dishes that does get better with time. The longer you let it simmer, the stronger and smoother the flavor will become. 15 minutes is the MINIMUM time, but I usually leave it about 45 minutes.)

* I buy a jar of whole green chilies, that way I can add as much or as little as I want. You have more control over the spiciness of the Chili this way
**Yes, you CAN put chocolate in Chili. This will add a very deep, slightly sweet flavor to the chili. We love it, however, not everyone is a fan. If you want to try it out:
      -add one teaspoon - stir - allow to sit for 1-2 minutes - taste - repeat if desired until you reach the amount that works for YOU.



Happy eating!
Stay warm.

-Laura

6 comments:

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Cotterill said...

That sounds absolutely yummy - I could just do with a pot of that :D

Dorothy said...

Sounds great, I have to try this.

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Denise said...

MMMM. Sounds good!
Stopping by from SITS!
Please stop by!
http://extremepersonalmeasures.blogspot.com/

Gina said...

I've been looking for a vegetarian chili for our taco salads and this one sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Emma said...

Oo that does sound amazing! :)

Are you suffering with this snow too?
It keeps coming & going for us - such a nightmare with the pram! :(