Vegan black bean chili was the surprise ending that I never saw coming. It started out with a complete failure of a new meal that I tried, black bean burgers. Those turned out really dry and not so great. However, I’m sure you’ve heard of the expression “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, so maybe this blog should be titled, “When newly vegan cooks make bad black bean burgers, make incredibly good chili”. I just didn’t think it had a catchy sound, so I went with a more festive sounding title!
After I raved for a while about how delicious this chili is, my husband said, “Hey, this is actually good!” Actually. I love this man. He’s a truth-teller in every situation, for better or for worse. Remember, he’s the brutally honest guy that you don’t ask if these jeans make you look fat unless you wanna know. And let’s face it, if we’re asking, we should probably go change clothes. Back to the dang good chili….
I cooked a bag of black beans for half a day in the crockpot. Then added some seriously chopped veggies, pureed half of the cooked beans, put it all back together with some kidney and pinto beans, a little seasoning and tomato paste, then voila….tasty vegan chili. Or vegetarian if you prefer.
Here’s the whole scoop on my black bean veggie chili…and did I mention that it’s super low-fat for you lowering-cholesterol folks?
Christine’s Amazing 5 Star Veggie Black Bean Chili:
1Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning (no animals were harmed when using this incredibly good seasoning)
1 can, 6 oz. tomato paste
1 or 2 tsp cumin, depending on your taste. I use 2 tsp
2 Tbsp garlic
1 medium onion
5 stalks of chives
1 red bell pepper
1 bag, 16 oz. black beans, dried
6 cups vegetable broth, I use low sodium
2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans or Ranch style pinto beans (I like Ranch style, it’s comfort food because that’s how Mom makes it!)
Repeat after me: The crockpot is my friend. Again: the crockpot is my friend. Seriously, I am surprised at how often I’m using the crockpot for beans and legumes. When you purchase a dried bag of beans/legumes, it’s so cheap and so easy. You throw in your crockpot with some stuff to flavor it, and go do life. Come back home, then open the crockpot lid for some heart-warming goodness. I digress….
Directions for Christine’s Amazing 5 Star Veggie Black Bean Chili:
Admit it; you like the name, don’tcha?
Put dried black beans, 1 medium chopped onion 1 Tbsp garlic in crockpot. Let cook for a few hours until done. (Crockpots vary, but I cooked on high for about 4 or 5 hours.) I drained about half the liquid from cooked black beans. Then blend half of beans in your blender or food processor. I only blended for 3 seconds. No kidding. And they were pretty mushy.
In food processor or blender, blend chives, red pepper, and carrots.
Add veggie mixture to black beans, putting mixture in crockpot or large pot on your stove. Add cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, McCormick’s seasoning, kidney beans and pinto beans. Let simmer until veggies are thoroughly cooked. In crockpot it’s about 3 more hours, on stove it’s only about 45 minutes. Yes, there’s a LOT of magical fruit going on here. But it’s delicious and hearty. Remember what my husband said, “It’s actually pretty good!”