Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Super Beany Chili

Friday, March 27, 2009

Super Beany Chili

I have been a pretty bad blogger lately, I could make a bunch of excuses, but really, I don't have many good ones, and the good ones I do have aren't the reason for my lack of blogging, I've just been lazy. We have been cooking though, still mostly "tried and true" recipes, especially since I found some of the first season's local tomatoes! I went to the Root Cellar the other day to get some local salad greens and saw the table full of gorgeous red delights as soon as I walked in. I made a beeline to them and asked the woman there in disbelief, "Are these local?!?" Indeed they are, from somewhere south of Jefferson City, Missouri. I think they have to have been grown in a greenhouse, but it has been beyond wonderful having local tomatoes again. I was surprised at what a wonderful, rich, tomatoey flavor they have. I should have got a picture of them, but I didn't and we are down to just a couple now any way. And those we will be using very shortly. We also got the above mentioned local salad greens, local shiitake mushrooms, and St. Louis made Dijon-Garlic-Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette. It is a mouthful, but it is delicious.

Anyways, we made this chili :blush: a couple of weeks ago. It was seriously tasty and we've enjoyed in by itself, with tortilla chips, on baked potatoes, and even on waffle fries (I've been contemplating tater tots too). Since making chili is a process, I made a huge batch and froze a good portion of it for later use. We've been taking a container of it out of the freezer in the evening, and it'll be ready for dinner the next night, wahoo!

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Super Beany Chili
2 cups dark red kidney beans +, soaked overnight with a dried cayenne pepper *** and a dried New Mexican Chile
1/2 cup pinto beans ****, soaked overnight with a dried cayenne pepper *** and a dried New Mexican Chile
1/2 cup black beans ****, soaked overnight with a dried cayenne pepper *** and a dried New Mexican Chile
1/2 cup Anasazi beans ****, soaked overnight with a dried cayenne pepper *** and a dried New Mexican Chile
2 cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, chopped + (not local)
1 yellow onion, chopped + (not local)
6 cloves of garlic, minced + (not local)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped *** (frozen from last year)
3 Hot Hungarian Wax peppers, cut into rings *** (frozen from last year)
dried cilantro flakes +
ground cumin
chili powder
chipotle chili powder
1 cup green lentils, rinsed

Soak beans and dried peppers overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and remove the peppers.

Combine beans in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover about two inches. Boil over medium heat for about 2 1/2 hours, covered. Make sure to check the water level occasionally, you may have to add more.

Add the tomatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, peppers, and spices. Simmer covered on medium-low for another two hours. Check the doneness of the beans.

Once the beans are close to being fully cooked, check the spice level and add more if necessary. Add the lentils and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked.

This was really yummy chili. I've mentioned before that I had "chili'd Brett out", but it turns out that my chili is generally too volcanically hot for anyone but me. So I don't overdo the spice and I add sriracha, cayenne pepper, dried habaneros, or hot chili garlic sauce to my dishes to achieve my desired spice level.

Well, I've been trying to jump start my pilates routine again. I used to do pilates at least three times a week, and that is saying something for someone who hates exercise. It really made me feel good, I had more energy, more stamina, and I looked, well, a little nicer. I've wanted to get back into it for awhile, so I figured summer and a wedding were pretty good motivation to get started. I also decided I would like to do some "booty exercises" (I am a size 2 girl with a size 4 behind), and get some upper body strength. I have damn strong legs and can carry quite a bit on my back, but the damn 5 lb. weights are almost too much for me. I started my "exercise regimen" yesterday and today I feel like someone ran over me. And I only worked out for about 30 minutes. :-( Now I am off to do pilates, and then probably take a hot bath and hide in my recliner the rest of the evening.

I'll tell you what, the pilates can stay around, but all this strength training, I don't think I will do this very long, I don't want to look all ripped and scary, I just don't want to be one of those bizarre "fat skinny people" anymore.

Oh, woe is me, am I right?

Have a good weekend everyone.

'Til next time!


jessy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessy said...

local tomatoes?!?!?! jealousface! ;)

oooh - your super beany chili looks super awesome, Jennifer! i love a good chili packed full of awesomeness! mmmmmmmm! very cool on the pilates! i do bikram yoga, but i've always wanted to get into pilates! it sounds awesome - and i could use some more core strength, fo 'sho! and weight training will wear your ass out at first, but you'll be surprised at how much you may come to enjoy it (and how much your strength will increase! w00t!)! and don't worry about looking all ripped & scary. i weight train A LOT and trust me, i'm no where near ripped, and this is coming from a girl who bench presses! ahahhhaha!

i'd also like to add that 30 minutes of work'n out = awesome! nice job! enjoy your hot bath & have a super stellar weekend!

selina said...

yeah jealousface for sure! and i totally think you should go with that tator tot idea.

if your strentgh training strictly for toning & not for the purpose of getting all bulky just stick with using the heaviest weight you can lift for about 12-15 reps. i can almost guarantee you won't bulk up.

now if you really wanted to "bulk up" you would use the heavest weight you can lift for only about 7-10 reps. thats usually more for men/bodybuilders anyways.

also try usuig one of those balls (or the jelly bean shaped kind that's more stable) to sit on while your sitting at your desk. you will work your muscles trying to stay balanced.

Heather @ SGF said...

Wow! That chili looks awesome! I'll have to try it (perhaps with a little less spice - i can't handle "hot" either).

RE: exercise. I'm not good at the strength training either. I do it for awhile, all the while hating it. Then stop, then pick it up again when my pants are uncomfortably tight, then drop it and on and on. I'm a functional exerciser. If I can bike or walk somewhere and get my errands done in the process I'm good. I can even take long walks. But equipment and indoor exercise. Not my thing. I'd be the size of a house if I had to depend on going to the gym :)

Anonymous said...

You are entitled to be lazy every now and again, but I am glad to see you post again!

I am super jealous of your local tomatoes...I am thinking it will be a while til local tomatoes are available here. That chili looks fantastic! I love that you used lentils in it--just about anything with lentils = deliciousness in my book!

Good luck with the pilates! Do you take classes somewhere or do you use a video/dvd at home?


jesse said...

Oooooh, yummmm. We've been getting a cold wave here in Oxford, so this is what I'm currently craving... a big, heaping bowl of chili with local tomatoes... *swoons*

VeganCowGirl said...

Looks amazing J! Love the bean party going on in there!

Erin said...

Your chili sounds super good! I like the idea of soaking the beans with a dried pepper, does it really impart flavor that way!

T said...

That chili looks awesome, I could go for some right about... now!

Pilates is awesome, but isn't it so hard? I'm much better at low impact stuff. And weight training can be great in small doses, at least in my case. I WISH I could get ripped, but its hard to notice a difference, except in how I feel.

Laura said...

haha thanks! :) i hope you like them! let me know what you think for sure...i may be tweaking the recipe if needed. have fun in stl! you better hit up shangri-la diner!!! it is soooo good!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - I know, I hate to rub it in to the Northern readers of the blog, but I was SO EXCITED when I saw them.

I've never done yoga, I wonder if it would something nice to include in my routine on my "off pilates" days, I could definitely use a little sculpting.

I do enjoy the weight training, I feel half dead afterward, but I know that I am going to be stronger as a result.

Yep, 30 minutes is about what I do, in combination with about an hour of walking I get everyday from just getting from point A to point B.

Selina - We did have them with tater tots, it was super delicious.

You may laugh at me, but 5 lbs dumbbells are my limit right now. But I don't think I will add any more weight than that.

Oh man, that medicine ball is a good idea. I wonder how many times I would fall off of it a day at work. :-)

Heather - Thank you. The chili actually wasn't spicy at all, I know that it sounds like it with all the peppers, but we made a TON of this chili, and it is very mild, those are Brett's words, not mine, so you can feel assured that if you make this as is, you won't be cursing my name with your mouth aflame.

I like to get my exercise via my errands, which is how I get most of it, like I said above, I average about an hour a day just walking to and from work/errands and such.

Sometimes with how much I like to eat, I'm surprised I'm not the size of a house either. But hey, Texas would be the place to be right, everything is bigger in Texas!

Courtney - I am pretty good at being lazy, I think I may have overspent my quota for the month already. :-)

I love adding lentils, they have such a unique and great flavor that they just take whatever you are making to another level.

I do a DVD at home. I am not a fan of classes when it comes to exercise.

Jesse - I don't think there is anything better than a hot bowl of hearty chili when it is cold.

Vegan Cow Girl - Thank you, we did too!

Erin - Thank you. We just thought we'd try it to see what happened. The peppers imparted a lot of their flavor into the beans without also imparting the spice.

T - I don't have much problems with pilates really. I am short and was fairly flexible to begin with, and I love that I don't end my workout all sweaty and stuff. Yes, small doses is what I do.

Haha, I don't want to be ripped, just maybe have a little more strength in my upper body.

Laura - I am making them for dinner tomorrow night. I have been missing those burgers so MUCH. I cannot thank you enough for posting that recipe, I will definitely let you know how it turned out.

Selina and I are definitely going to hit Shangri-La when we are in the Lou. Brett and I might try it out when we head up there again in a couple of weeks.