The Recipes

Three-bean chili

At some point in time, my office is going to have a chili cook-off.  I was craving chili tonight, but wanted a healthy supper and didn't want to wait for hours for meat to slowly cook.  So I figured I'd make a vegetarian chili and play around with spice combinations to see what I like.  The avocado crema topper is a definite winner.  Of course, it's chili, so I definitely made enough for four hearty portions.

Three-bean Chili


Ingredients:

- 1 dried ancho chile pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bottle of lager
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- scant palmfull of Mexican oregano
- palmfull of cumin
- 2 palmfulls of chili powder
- 1 14.5-oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14.5-oz. can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14.5-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil
- 1/2 c. greek yogurt
- handful of cilantro
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- red onion, diced for garnish

In a small pot, heat the ancho pepper and stock.  Let it heat over medium-low heat while you start to cook the chili.  This will allow the dried pepper to reconsititute.

 In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat 1 T. of olive oil.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, and jalapeno.  Season with salt and let them cook for 7-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for a minute.  Next, add the cumin, chile powder, and Mexican oregano.  Season with pepper.  Let the veggies and spices cook together for 3 minutes, then add in the beer.  While the beer reduces down, transfer the chile pepper and the stock to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the chile mixture into the pot and stir.  Once combined, add in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Add in more water or stock until you reach a consistency you like.  Let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and greek yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the chili is ready, ladle it into bowls and garnish with the avocado crema and red onion.  Bring on the chili cook-off!