A while back, I ran across a post on Erin's Food Files that caught my attention. First of all, the recipe for Braised Tuscan Chicken with Fennel and White Beans sounded like something I would really enjoy. Tuscan flavors always appeal to me, and I am pretty much addicted to white beans. It sounded like an excellent dinner recipe, but I noticed that there was more to her post than this recipe. Erin had gotten the recipe out of the "Diary of a Tomato" cookbook that she had received as part of a case of Muir Glen 2009 Reserve Tomatoes. I have gotten in the habit of buying Muir Glen organic tomatoes recently, and the idea of getting 4 cans of their limited edition tomatoes for $7 appealed to me!
The box of tomatoes was like a gift, but since it was really just groceries I didn't even have to feel guilty about ordering it! The Fire Roasted tomatoes were perfect for this vegetarian chili, which I made last week. Joe and I are giving up meat for lent, and this year we're going all out. The last two years we've had some loop holes, like it's ok to eat the meat in the freezer, or seafood is on the good list. This year we said no meat. Period*. So veggie chili it is!
I usually just make up chili recipes depending on my mood, using a "bit of this, bit of that" type approach. But this recipe was really good, and I'm posting it partially to remind myself to make it again! The ratio of beans: tomatoes: peppers: onions was right on target, and I have to admit that sometimes my invented chili recipes end up to thick. I thought this was a perfect meal with some sour cream and cheese on top, and with masa bread on the side. And really, if you're a meat lover and can't live without it, I don't see why you couldn't just brown some ground beef or turkey and add it in. It's a solid chili recipe either way!
from Muir Glen's "Diary of a Tomato" cookbook
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded, finely chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (14.5 oz each) Muir Glen® organic fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1 cup frozen organic sweet corn
Sour cream or plain yogurt, if desired
Shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired
Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
1. In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and chiles; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
2. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes longer.
3. Top each serving with remaining ingredients.
I love colorful meals, and this is a perfect example of why.
* Ok, so that was a tiny bit of a lie. Our only exception so far has been our lunch on Saturday at Mercat a la Planxa. But it was Restaurant Week, and we've been wanting to go to Mercat for months, so we decided it wasn't our fault that Restaurant week falls during lent. Right?!? Maybe next year we should give up eating out!