Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: 20 minutes prep, plus cooking time
Serves: 6 to 8 and it freezes well

Call it homework. For two reasons. One, it's healthy, so you're doing your body some good. You know, for your legume quota. Secondly, this is a mother of a recipe--it makes a lot. So freeze it in manageable container sizes and you've got a nice meal some other night when you're dog-tired.

It's almost the Chipotle experience--just add some lime/cilantro rice and you got it.

Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 chipotle chile (or more hey hey hey) canned in adobo sauce, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
Splash of white wine if you want
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
1 avocado (optional) peeled and sliced for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
Sour cream and shredded extra sharp cheddar if you're not being pure

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, jalapeno, and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and chipotle, and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, bay leaf, beans, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 hour.

Discard bay leaf. Add Swiss chard, and cook, uncovered, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro. Garnish with avocado and cilantro sprigs, and serve with lime.
Optional: top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Suggested soundtrack: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.l 5 Allegro. I mean, Bach and beans. What could be better?

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