Friday, February 25, 2011

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

picture from


Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed


  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  3. From Everyday Food, October 2007
Read more at Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili - Martha Stewart Recipes
The kids were not super thrilled about having chili for dinner.  Even my "green lifestyle” requires constant veggie patrolling. Once I began to ladle the warm chili into their bowls, the table went totally silent (I know what to serve when I want peace around here *laughing*). I watched as their wide eyes quickly darted back and forth as they scanned the chili ingredients.  It might have been the zucchini that changed their mood, or maybe the canned tomatoes?  However, the corn was a big hit.  They picked out all the "yellows" and quickly popped them into their mouths. At least they ate corn kernels for dinner, right? Joking...

Over the years, I have developed strong opinions about food, in case you haven't noticed. *smiles* As you already know, kids are now having heart attacks, becoming diabetic, and presenting other obesity-related illnesses.  Since I can't change the way the world eats, I've turned the focus homeward.  That said, tell me you don't like the greens and I'll tell you where to grow!  *winks* Hey, I thought it was funny!

I have to tell you what happened to me a few weeks ago! I was cooking dinner, (it was when I was making the tabbouleh and hummus) when a friend of mine stopped by our house, along with his five year old son. The little boy marched through the front door, carrying an extra-big bag of those orange “cheese”, puffy things.  Of course, Gabriel and Sarah instantly stuck to him like magnets.  All by myself, I'm in a stand off against three toddlers.  Can you picture three, very hungry, cheese-puff-crazy toddlers glaring at me?  It was like they were saying, "take one grab at our bag and you will have THREE meltdowns to manage!"  Just be glad that you were not there.

A few minutes later, the dear child decided to come into the kitchen to make a very important statement to me.  On the cutting board in front of me, I had fresh parsley and a few other green-looking things. He said, “I am NOT eating that!  What's that?  Ewww.  No way, I am NOT eating that!"  He stormed out.  I was left, in mid chop with my jaw open.  I'm thinking to myself, "first off kid, you were not even invited to dinner. Secondly, have you even tasted these vegetables before?"  Of course I'm not saying this to the sweet, little angel.*giggles* I have to admit, after the cheese-puff stand off, my patience was rather thin.

If you are a mom, or a person learning to love vegetables, then I'm sure that you can relate to this subject matter.  Learning to love our food, particularly the healthy stuff, is much easier if we have been practicing (since we were babies and toddlers).  Like a sport practiced to perfection, learning to enjoy eating healthy food requires the same approach.  At heart, I know this to be true.  Consequently, we have a lot of dress rehearsals around here, practicing our green-eating, so to speak.  Some days, I wonder if I'm making any progress.  Other days, I feel like my children could be poster kids for the green-living movement.  Several, very important tactics have eased the intensity of the dinner time meltdowns. For example, if the kids don't like their veggies, well then, just tell them to plug their noses (yes, this applies to you too).  Trust me, it really does work.  America no longer has an alternative...we have indeed run out of time.  Happy cooking!

Photo Gallery

The Tower...I can't wait for the fresh ingredients to be in season.  Hey, but this works too.
They may not always eat their vegetables, but they will be in their presence.  We have to start somewhere, I guess?
With direct supervision, Gabriel enjoys mixing the chili.
The hodge-podge of veggies.  On a day like today, this is the perfect dinner. Nothing beats hot and nourishing, homemade chili.
Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili, in around 30 minutes!  It's a keeper.
~Dinner Was Served~

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a vegan, this is MY chili. Thanks for the recipe, Morgan.