Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chili cook off.

I discovered something recently, and I'm never going back to canned beans AGAIN! Let me explain.

Last week, on a whim, I bought a bag of uncooked black beans for 84 cents. (When things cost less than a dollar, I am very likely to buy them. No matter what they are).

I was hesitant to make the beans because I've never cooked beans before. But I made my weekday meal plan and decided to make chili this week.

Out came the bag of black beans. If you've never cooked beans before, this is what I did in three easy steps:

1. Rinse and then soak 2 cups of dried beans in 6 cups of water overnight, preferably in a stove top-safe pot.
2. Cook the beans on the stove (bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 40 minutes until beans are soft and water has been absorbed).

Actually it was two easy steps. By the way, this made over 6 cups of cooked beans.

I've made a couple of chili recipes in the past (check the recipes page for those!), so I'll give you a quick run-through of this one. I added the following to this gigantic pot of beans:

  • 16oz tomato sauce (equivalent of two small cans)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with added green chilies
  • 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ~1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt + pepper

Star of the show (which was also the star of the sauce show from last week's quinoa patties):

Finished product after mixing all ingredients together and heating for just a few minutes:

So how do you eat chili without getting utterly bored of beans? Get creative!!

The first day, I ate my chili alongside a quesadilla and some green salsa.

(Bonus points for whole wheat tortilla!)

The second day, I ate the chili atop a bed of brown rice. With some cheese on top!

(Late dinner = dark picture).

Third day, chili atop a baked potato!

Topped with a dollop of greek yogurt.

Warning: when you start eating this, the once aesthetically pleasing meal turns out quite messy. 

Can you tell I had way too much fun with this baked potato photoshoot?

Enough with the pictures. I have enough chili to last me the next three weeks. See you then! (Just kidding).

Something about this meal gave me enough energy to choreograph a new Zumba dance to a popular new song (any guesses?). Video to come soon!

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