Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili

Now that I'm back at work, I'm once again part of "lunch club," in which one person provides lunch for everyone participating for a whole week.  My husband loves it because he doesn't have to make my lunches (yep, he does that for me!) and I love that I get to do some bigger batch cooking of meals my husband doesn't like.

But when looking for recipes to make, I try to think of something that will reheat well.  Lately, we've all been going with pasta dishes, so I wanted to find something different.  Goggling brought me to Cheap, Healthy, Good and one post in particular, a list of meals with great leftover potential.  Jackpot!  This is a list of recipes that seem perfect for not only this week's lunch club meals but for the future too.

When I said I tend to make things my husband won't eat, I wasn't kidding.  Beans are on his won't eat list, so chili was a natural fit for this week, and when I saw that a Cook's Illustrated (read: "can't fail") recipe was on the list, I went for it.

I probably went a little heavy handed with the chipotle, I only had a can of whole tomatoes, and not nearly enough chicken stock, so it wasn't as "can't fail" as one would think, but a good, solid, chili recipe that comes together really fast.  I really liked the smokey flavor the chipotle added and the vegetarian nature of it makes me feel like it's fairly healthful too.

I have no idea why the picture came out so yellow--I used AWB after all--but I used a mix of small white beans and dark kidney beans.

Easy Vegetarian Bean ChiliServes 4 – 6
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Recipe via Cheap, Healthy, Good

CI Note: A combination of beans is better in this (kidney, black, pinto, whatever). Also, don't sub in anything for the pureed diced tomatoes, as the consistency is vital. 

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans beans (see note), rinsed
2-3 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1) Pour tomatoes and the accompanying juices in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until it's kinda chunky.

2) In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, beans, chipotles, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and cover. Heat over high until it starts boiling. Drop heat to medium-low and simmer for the time being.

3) In a different large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. When very hot, add onion, chili powder, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir. Saute until onions are soft and a little translucent, around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Stir. Saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4) Pour tomato mixture into onion pot. Scrape browned bits with the back of your spoon, if you have 'em. Drop heat to medium-low and cook about 15 minutes, until chili has a more chili-like consistency. Stir occasionally.

5) After 15 minutes, add corn and cilantro. Stir. Heat until corn is warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve. 

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