November 23, 2009

veggie chili

As the holidays near, time is a precious commodity. I use most of mine cooking and preparing, gluing silver findings on to glass pendants, rounding corners on cardstock, and deciding exactly which recipe to use. This week we're celebrating Thanksgiving three times, and I couldn't be happier about that. I wish I'd had the time and the wherewithall to take pictures of my cooking extravaganza yesterday (homemade stuffing, two sourdough loaves, spinach and artichoke dip, birthday cupcakes with frosting, and more!) but alas—I've found that it's hard enough just to keep up with the to-do list!

In the spirit of not having much time, here's a very quick one-pot meal. This recipe was born out of necessity; I wanted something hot and spicy that wasn't soup, and needed to use up some jalapenos and cilantro in the fridge. Since I keep the pantry stocked with canned beans (let's face it, as much as I try to cook dried beans instead, it just doesn't happen as often as I'd like) and tomatoes, chili was a natural choice. I added a carrot because I like a little extra veggie kick, and it needed to be used up too. If I'd had broccoli and corn, by golly, I'd have thrown that in as well! Chili is like soup, I think: anything goes.

Ryan was skeptical at first, but changed his mind after taking a bite. So if you're short on time, here's a delicious weeknight recipe that will hit the spot for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Quick Veggie Chili

1 15-oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-oz can organic whole peeled tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Garnish: additional cilantro, chopped avocado, and sour cream

Prep the veggies. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium, heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots, and saute until the onions become translucent. (If your pan gets too hot and the garlic begins to burn, just add a little of the tomato juice.)

After 3-5 minutes, add the beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and cumin, and stir. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the flavors come together. Serve with chopped avocado, extra cilantro, and a nice dollop of sour cream.

Makes about 6 servings; freezes well.