Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Imagine a completely hypothetical situation in which you were on vacation in Sonoma for a week, eating lots of food that you don’t normally eat (like chorizo and turkey) and drinking wine all day. Before that vacation, you were so exhausted and burnt out that dinner was mostly spaghetti or black bean burgers or take-out. And then along came Thanksgiving. When you got home, your pants were quite a bit tighter, but you still ate your way through a three-course resident interview dinner complete with a toffee bit-topped flourless chocolate torte. It might be time to get back into a routine of cooking lighter meals.

BUT! There are only two weeks of classes left, 8 zillion pages to write before than, and it’s a gross, cold, rainy night. This chili would come in handy.

So maybe that situation isn’t completely hypothetical, though this time of the year, you can fill in your own blanks about what has kept you out of the kitchen. Either way, this chili will only take you thirty minutes and leave you with leftovers!

Thirty minutes is the perfect amount of time for a healthful, warm, nutritious meal. With the short daylight hours and the holiday madness and all of the other cooking and baking going on in your kitchen, you don’t need a long time to prepare something satisfying and nutritious.


Vegetarian Bean Chili
source: Everyday Food, October 2007
Yields 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 oounces) black beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • Preparation

    1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
    2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.