Given my great love of restaurants and their hardly healthful fare, it’s really important that my meals at home provide nutrients that otherwise go missing from my diet. Whenever I’m not painting the town red, I prepare recipes that make tasty use of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. My subscription to Cooking Light magazine has been a great source of inspiration, and of course, the internet is chock full of solid ideas on how to balance the excess in my life.
The majority of the healthy dishes that I prepare serve their nutritional purpose and taste mostly decent, but they’re usually not outstanding enough to be featured on the site. This vegetarian three bean chili is a rare exception. In addition to being a fiberfull powerhouse, this meatless stew is also immensely satisfying. The heat from the chipotles combined with the smoky chili powder makes for an exciting and spicy flavor profile. The trio of beans provide just enough heft to fill one up nicely. Paired with some old fashioned cornbread, it’s impossible to feel deprived when one is eating this well.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
- 4 (15.5 ounce) cans of kidney, pinto, or black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, water, chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve chili topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or slices of avocado.
Serves 6 to 8.