Quick and Easy: Vegetarian Bean Chile

Make a big pot of this and serve it with corn bread one night and a baked potato another.  A green salad on the side makes for a great meal.

This can be a quick and easy recipe if you use canned beans and tomatoes.  However, I’ve been really trying to get away from using canned foods for several reasons: they are more expensive, I don’t always know how they have been prepared, and then there is the whole issue of what the can is made from (some are still lined with BPA).  Try to buy organic (check out Eden Foods products).

Eden Foods

Eden Foods

When I make this from scratch, I pre-soak the beans for 24 hours, changing the water at least two times.  Why pre-soak?  Beans (as well as seeds and grains) contain phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to important minerals and prevents their absorption in the body, in particular calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking and sprouting reduces the phytic acid.  When buying canned beans I have no idea how they have been prepared.

1-2 cup of Black Beans
1-2 cup of small white beans
1-2 cup of Kidney Beans
1-2 cup of Chick peas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 onion, diced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
5-6 roasted tomatoes (or 1 can of stewed tomatoes)
1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes and steamed
Chili seasoning:
3-4 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tbsp ground cumin
1-3 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

Or use a readymade seasoning like Carroll Shelby’s chili kit. The red pepper is in a separate packet so you can add as much or as little as your taste buds like.

Chili Kit

Chili Kit

Pre-cook the beans.  Saute the diced onion in a little coconut oil. Cut up the tomatoes, toss with coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Steam (or roast) the sweet potato.  Add the cooked beans (with some of the water they cooked in), sweet potato and tomatoes to the onions. Add the seasoning. Add water, vegetable broth or tomato sauce or paste to get the desired consistency.   Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Top with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and/or tortilla chips.
Serve with polenta, corn bread, cheese quesadilla, brown rice, or baked potato.

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