Bean Lovers’ Chili

You won’t have any trouble finding these beans.

Last week I promised chili to go with those ground corn muffins, so this week we have a hearty winter chili recipe that’ll have you lapping up all kinds of beans and liking it!

Funny story … the Sprouts grocery store in my area had their canned beans displayed on an endcap, and I had to ask an employee where they were. It’s true, I could not locate a bean to save my life. The moral of this story is – never be shy about asking for directions!

I’ve played with and tweaked this recipe based on various three-bean chili recipes I’ve encountered, including one from Forks Over Knives. The ingredient that really pushes this one over the edge is cocoa, assisted by smoked paprika, coriander, and lime. The rest of the stew is more or less traditional. Have fun with it – diced rather than crushed tomatoes will make it a little thinner, and if your taste buds prefer to leave out the very subtle sweetening quality of the Stevia, you can skip it. Kick up the heat even more with an Anaheim pepper instead of the green or red one, and skip the cilantro if the herb tastes like soap to you. No one wants to be eating soapy beans.

Serves at least 4 bean lovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 packet Stevia (equivalent to 2 tsp sugar)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, more for garnish

Heat the olive oil on low-medium in a soup pot or dutch oven and saute the onions until they start to become soft and translucent. Add a T of water or two as needed to keep them lubed. Add the peppers, jalapeno, and garlic and saute for a few more minutes, until the garlic is aromatic and the peppers soften. Add the salt, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, and cayenne, and more water if needed to keep the spices from sticking as you stir and saute them with the vegetables.

Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, corn, cocoa powder, Stevia, and lime and stir well, turning up the heat to bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, folding in the chopped cilantro just before removing the chili from the heat and serving. Garnish with more cilantro and serve with corn muffins, tortillas, tortilla chips … whatever enhances the experience for you. Leftovers are great for freezing in portion containers for later, otherwise they’ll be ok for a few days in the fridge.

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