Thursday, June 03, 2010

recipe: quick and easy black bean chili

Despite the fact that I have lived in Texas for the last six (six!) years, I am not a Texan by birth. By birth, I am a New Yorker (Long Island to be exact) and while I credit the Northeast with much of my personal growth, it is in Texas that I learned how to cook. What started as pure necessity (have you tried being a vegetarian, nevermind a vegan, in East Texas? You could starve. I almost did!) soon morphed into a true love affair. Now, there is no place I would rather be than in my kitchen, cooking up a delicious meal to feed a crowd of friends.

Chili is one of my crowd-feeding (and crowd-pleasing) staples. This recipe is quick and easy, and I usually make a batch of cornbread and collard greens while it's simmering on the stove. My heart may belong to New York, but my stomach is definitely fond of the South (veganized, of course). ;)

Quick and Easy Black Bean Chili 

4 cups black beans
1 Tbsp olive oil 
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
32 oz can crushed tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
1 handful of semisweet vegan chocolate chips

1. Pour olive oil into a large pot. Add chopped peppers and onions and saute for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

2. Add chili powder and stir to coat. Let cook for another 30 seconds.

3. Add black beans and crushed tomatoes. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you have about five minutes of simmer time left, stir in the handful of chocolate chips so they melt.

4. Serve and enjoy! (I recommend eating with a spoon. It's the Southern way!) 


  1. Woah woah woah! Chocolate in the chili? 'splain please! Also, do you have a veganized recipe for corn bread? I miss it bunches when I make my chili.

  2. My friend Kealy used to add chocolate to her chili (she probably still does) and since she is a good chef, I followed suit. The chili-chocolate combo is common in Mexico (mole sauce!) and I think it just adds a nice balance to the heat. It doesn't taste like chocolate though - I promise!

    My standard cornbread recipe is from Veganomicon, and it cooks in a skillet pan. So good. I can type it up and email it to you if you want, as I was not able to find it on the Internets.

  3. Interesting. I shall try this the next time I make some chili - I add a small bit of cinnamon to my chili - I wonder if adding both would tip the scales into desert-land a bit too much. I think I'll tryt his next week and I'll let you know how it comes out.

    As to the cornbread: Yeah I'd love get that recipe, if you wouldn't mind. Although I'll probably have to modify it until I get my iron skillet (can't wait!).

    What's with the mole sauce? I've never heard of this stuff before until you mentioned it once, now I've heard/seen it multiple times since then. Crazy!

  4. I'll get you the recipe this weekend! Cinnamon seems like a fun chili edition - I'll try it next time I make some. And I'm not sure what's up with mole sauce. I never heard of it until I went to Mexico two years ago, but you're right - it's been everywhere lately. It's really good, so if you see it around you should try it!

  5. I highly endorse mole sauce. It is of Aztec origin, so if you haven't heard of it, it may be because it took many years to walk up to Texas. I highly endorse southern cuisine, also.

    And if eating chili with a spoon is the southern way...what is another way? Don't tell me those crazy New Yorkers use a fork! ;)