The sixth and final chili contest entry. I am a bit behind schedule — the Illini regular season has ended, we are heading to the Kraft Bowl to play UCLA, and recently fired our head coach. Rocky times for Illini football. At least our basketball team is 8-0 and ranked #22?
But as for chili, I have to say…it was nice to be cooking up a batch of chili after a few weeks without. I’m a bit surprised I don’t get sick of it, but not so much. I love to either freeze the leftovers or change the meal a bit by serving chili over baked potatoes or pasta (or another grain/seed). Chili can quickly morph into several meal options making it one of the more versatile dishes I can think of.
This recipe was packed with onion, garlic, and bell pepper…along with lots of chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and ancho chili powder. And of course, cumin. I can say, with certainty, that my favorite chili recipes are those with bold, deep flavors that can only come from various chili powders and a combination of several seasonings (cumin being one of them).
Furthermore, I’ve decided black beans are my favorite bean, at least in chili. I think their smaller size and more tender skin appeal to me best (not that I don’t love other beans, don’t get me wrong).
Unique to this recipe was corn. I had some plump white corn that I had cut off the cob this summer and adding it to this cold weather comfort food was a most welcome and sweet addition to the dish.
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili inspired by Weight Watchers Pure Comfort, submitted by The Art of Living
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped
2 small jalapenos, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup frozen corn
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
chipotle chili powder, to taste
2 tsp dried oregano
cilantro, to garnish
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large sauce pan. Saute the onions and peppers until soft.
Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add black beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, frozen corn, and spices (to taste). Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes until flavors have melded. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 10 cups.
Nutrition Information (per cup): 177 calories; 2.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 689 mg. sodium; 31.7 g. carbohydrate; 10.3 g. fiber; 8.8 g. protein
Result: This was thick, spicy, and rich with chili powder (which I love!). There was a great balance of beans, peppers, and onion…with lots of garlic. This came together quickly and reheated great – probably my favorite vegetarian chili recipe to date! Enjoy!
The panel (Mr. Prevention) and I will confer and decide on a chili contest winner to be announced on Friday, along with a round-up of all of this year’s entries. I was thinking a Whole Foods gift card and some homemade baked goods for the winner, but I’m open to suggestions
Thank you again to all of this year’s participants! I appreciate your sharing your favorite recipes with us!