Rationale: high in fiber, high in protein, easy, make-ahead, left overs make a great lunch, gluten-free, freezes well
Variations: use different beans, add ground tofu for a meaty texture, add corn toward the end of the cooking time, add diced zucchini or yellow squash about halfway through cooking time. Put out extra spicy stuff like minced fresh jalapeño peppers, dried red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for those who like their chili hot!
Serving suggestion: serve as a main dish – this bowl is everything you need! – and a fruit on the side for dessert.
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
6 x 15 oz cans beans of your choice, drained and rinsed (I often use: 2 pinto, 2 black, 2 pink or kidney)
2 x 15 oz cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 x 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste (~1 1/2 tsp)
ground pepper, to taste
1 avocado, cubed (for garnish, optional)
1 cup finely chopped cilantro (for garnish, optional)
chopped fresh tomatoes (for garnish, optional)
Heat 2-4 Tbsp water in a large pot. Sauté onions in water over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last five. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors have melded.
Season with salt and pepper, and adjust other seasonings to your liking. If time allows, let the chili stand for up to several hours before serving (this is even better the next day). Heat through as needed. The chili should be nice and thick; if it has gotten too which, stir in a cup of water. Garnish individual bowls with avocado, tomatoes and cilantro.
Makes 10-12 servings.