Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Kidney Bean and Vegetable Chili

I am not a big fan of kidney beans. This deal was sealed when Mom left us for two weeks when I was in 8th grade and our neighbor, the kind-hearted woman that she is, decided to make us a number of different salads for dinner, one of which was a cracked wheat and kidney bean salad. Of course my sister and I did not know this when we excitedly ran over to pick up the dinner from her home. We were rescued we though. Anything had to be better than what my dad would have come up with. We trooped on over and out of her fridge she pulled out two salads one of which was the aforementioned salad. Cracked wheat is the color of brown rice and combined with the red of the kidney did not make for the most appetizing dish. Aren't they disturbingly maroon? She was so happy to make us these salads because "I know what good eaters you are and you're not picky. I wish my grandchildren would eat like you." My sister and I looked at each other at the corner of our eyes. After we thanked our neighbor and were out of ear shot, we laughed and shook our heads in dismay. Needless to say, my dad was one happy camper that evening.

Anyhow, I have slowly acquired a taste for these beans. I love chili but since I don't eat beef or meat it's sometimes hard to find a hearty vegetarian chili until I found this recipe in Vegetariana by Nava Atlas. I highly recommend you visit her website. She has her own blog and lots of recipes and everything. What a find -- her website and this recipe that is!! It's quick, easy, low maintenance and tasty. Once you put all the ingredients together, you don't even have to watch it. Set the timer and let it do it's thing.

Having a craving for something hearty on a rainy night, but not wanting to make something too time consuming after spending 3 hours making cookies, I decided to give this recipe a whirl last night.

Makes 6 servings
Time: 35 minutes

-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
-1 cup cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn
-14 ounce can imported plum tomatoes
-1 cup canned crushed or pureed tomatoes
-2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-4 cups cooked or canned pinto or red beans

My modifications
-tbsp olive oil
-14 ounce can diced tomatoes because I couldn't find canned plum tomatoes
-3 cups kidney bean (2 14.5 ounce cans)
-1 tsp chili powder because I use the Indian kind

Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add green pepper (use frozen to reduce chopping time) and saute until it softens and the onion starts turning golden. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I like to serve this in a bowl with brown rice. The cookbook also recommends couscous or bulgur and tortilla chips. I have also used this chili to make soft tacos. All of it's delicious yet so nutritious. Another reason why I love this recipe -- it's versatile so you can't sick and tired of it! And you'll have lots of leftovers.

Between this dish and the Potatoes and Stewed Kalamata Olive dish, you'll have food for three or four days (for 2 people). You may get sick and tired of eating it which I have but between the two, you can alternate between lunch and dinner.

Happy Eating!

No comments: