Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Black Bean Vegetarian Chili - serves 6

What a terrific weekend.  I had the LUXURY of having a house, all to myself, for 3 whole days.  I wasn't sure what to do with myself but I quickly snapped out of that dream to prepare for a few catering gigs.  In my spare time, I whipped up the above for a dear friend of mine for her birthday to enjoy as we sat on her couch enjoying really, bad, bad movies.  She actually turned down lobster mac and cheese due her sudden diet dilemma as she had birthday'd herself into week-long gluttonous festivities.  After putting my cravings aside, this dish proved itself as a simple, flavorful dish that was ready to go in 30 minutes.  If only the movie we had watched had only been that long.....


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 oz can chopped green chilies

Chopped fresh cilantro
Diced avocados
Grated MontereyJack cheese
Chopped green onions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, diced tomatoes and chilies. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle chili into bowls. Pass chopped cilantro, avocado, grated cheese, and green onions separately.

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