Phoenix Beans (vegan chili)

When Phoenix was growing in my belly, I made chili, over and over again.  I kept tweaking it, adding homemade broth, not adding meat, adjusting spices.  Now, its his favorite, especially when I make chimichangas.

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Soak 1 lb dry beans overnight.  This really cuts down cooking time, but isn’t necessary.  Also, I know it seems like an extra thing, but good beans make a difference.  Trust me, anything Rancho Gordo.  Vaquero were good, but Midnight Black Beans are still our favorite.

Dump beans into colander.  Sometimes I’ll cook the beans in the soaking water for an hour.  It cuts down cooking time, but maybe you’d rather a long, slow cooking day, with chili smells filling the kitchen.  Crack the window open, sit outside, and share a couple of Ironfires.

Saute chopped veggies in olive oil.  I use the usual garlic, onion, carrots, and celery, sometimes jalapeno, or chipotle for extra heat.  Figure about 2 small cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, and 1/2 a yellow onion for 1 lb of beans.

Stir in spices.  I use 1 tablespoon of New Mexico red chili powder and 2 tablespoon of this Cilantro Lime Blend for 1 lb of beans.

Gently stir in beans, just to coat them with everything in the pot.

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Add tomatoes, one 28 oz (1 lb) can for 1 lb of beans.  Whichever one you like best is fine.  But, aren’t those italian ones so yummy?  When I’m cooking for kids, I try not to have too many chunky pieces.

Add broth, 4 cups for 1 lb of beans.  Use veggie broth to keep it vegan.  When I’m on top of it, I’ll make my own broth at least a day before.

Bring to boil.

Simmer, covered, until beans are cooked, 3-6 hours depending on soaking, and stirring here and there.  If you use good beans, the skin won’t peel before the inside is creamy.  You’ll have to taste them.  I prefer scooping with chips from a local tortillaria.

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Ingredients (for shopping list):  2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 small garlic cloves, 1/2 yellow onion, 1 tbsp red chili powder, 1 tbsp cilantro lime spice mix, 1 lb dry beans, 1 28 oz can tomatoes,  4 cups broth.  If you double it, it freezes great!

Easy Chimichangas:  Fill a tortilla, like a burrito, and toast it on a fry pan, with a little oil.  I start with folded side down, to seal closed, then flip, to get both sides crispy brown.


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