Friday, February 28, 2014

Mmmm, I Made Chili

It’s raining in California! More impressively, it’s raining in the Valley! I love the rain, I’m sure I have mentioned that before.  The air quality here in the central valley of California is DISGUSTING.  So when the heavens open and the blessed drops sprinkle down on us, cleaning up the air quality, I do my happy dance.  I also just love winter weather activities such as cuddling with soft blankets and kittens, watching movies, reading books in fire light, and of course the wardrobe of leggings, sweaters, and boots doesn’t suck! But the best part? The best part my friends, is the food.  Tonight, in celebration of the gray sky, I made my favorite chili dish. 

From top to right: steps one through finish :) 

Shopping List!
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 can low sodium can pinto beans
1 can low sodium can black beans
1 can low sodium can kidney beans
1 Mexican packet of chili powder
1 Mexican packet of ground cumin
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
1 large can of organic diced tomatoes. 
Optional: Fritos corn chips or toasted sourdough bread

Heat some olive oil in a deep skillet or stockpot.  Turn the heat to a medium-high. Line up your veggies in order as listed above after washing the pesticides off of them.  Chop the onion and throw it in the pot, stir with a wooden spoon.  Chop the bell peppers in order green-red-yellow and add them to the pot one at a time, stirring occasionally.  Don’t let the vegetables cook too fast; you want it to be a slow release of flavors.
Once the vegetables are mixed in start opening all your cans.  Drain the beans but don’t drain the chipotles or tomatoes.  Add all three beans to the mixture and stir with a spoon.  Wait a couple minutes to make sure the bean and veggie mixture is heated through and mixed pretty well.  Then add your spices.  I usually add a whole packet of chili powder and ground cumin because I like my chili with a lot of flavor, but please adjust your spices to your taste.   Mix the spices in very well and then feel free to add the chipotles.  These suckers come whole, so I like to chop them up while in the skillet/pot to avoid making a mess of the cutting board.  They are also pretty spicy but have an amazing flavor. If your heat intolerant, just add the sauce they sit in to have the best of both worlds.  The last thing you will add is your can of tomatoes.  Mix thoroughly and then turn the heat down to low.  Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Serve hot plain or with Fritos corn chips, or freshly toasted sourdough bread.

This chili is vegan and packed full of protein, fiber, and vitamins.  It is amazing for your body so I strongly suggest you make a full batch and keep the leftovers for up to a week.  If you try it, let me know!

XOXO, Cristen

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