Monday, June 27, 2011

Killing a Few Vegetables

Yeah. I know it's been awhile. Life, work, etc. I promise to try and keep up with it on at least a more regular basis. Hopefully. Maybe. We will see.

A few things for those who have decided to read my blog for the first time, I love Mexican Food, anything spicy, very simple meals and exclamation points. I love to cook, but I'm not going to spend hours in the kitchen just to make a meal. I'm all about simple, cheap, and quick meals that taste pretty damn good. Maybe you'll find something you like or want to try or maybe you'll realize I've fooled my friends and family for years by making them think I know what I'm doing. Either way, welcome and enjoy!

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for me to return, um, get a life? Hopefully you'll find some new things to try out and improve upon. If nothing else, you'll get some new ideas of what not to cook for dinner. Yes my dear friends. I'm back. Sorry to inform you.

Lately I've been in a vegetarian mood. Now then, pick yourself up off the floor and quit laughing. I'm not in a vegetarian mood because I don't like to eat meat. Have you seen me? I'm the cheeseburger queen and I like my steaks medium rare with enough juice on the plate to change the color of my mashed potatoes. No, the reason I've been going "veg" lately is because honestly, it's too damn hot and I haven't been in the mood to eat meat. Plus, we all know that it's good for your heart, cholesterol, blah, blah, blah. Trust me guys, I'll be throwing some poor animal on the grill in no time. For now, however, I wanted to share a few things I've been cooking up. Haha. "Cooking up". Get it? Cooking? Recipe blog? Anyway....

I'm not a huge fan of chili. Now don't get me wrong, I will partake in a good bowl a couple of times a year and who doesn't like a chili dog? Or a chili cheeseburger? They are greatness. I'm just not one of these people who is "famous" for their chili or who gets excited about. I will only make it if asked or if I'm bored and nothing else is in the pantry. Now that I've said all that, I have recently discovered vegetarian chili. Now before you freak out and think it's full of vegetables or some weird soy meat product and tofu, remember who you are dealing with here.

I had heard of vegetarian chili for awhile and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I looked up hundreds of recipes online and nothing sounded appetizing. The ones I found were for those people who actually weren't making chili, they were making weird concoctions with chili powder and masa. Not my idea of good eats. I decided why not just make chili, without the meat. Simple enough right? Let me tell ya, not only is it tasty, but I actually look forward to eating it. I know. Crazy!

I'm providing my recipe below and I do understand that everyone has their own "secret" chili style, etc so feel free to add or subtract what you want. Trust me, I experiment with people's recipes all the time. Oh, and let's not call it "vegetarian", let's just call it Five Bean Chili. Ok? I'm a Texas gal and have no plans on losing that credibility.

Five Bean Chili

1 Can Chili Beans
1 Can Dark Kidney Beans
1 Can Light Kidney Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
1/2 Jar Jalapenos ( with juice)
1 small Can Tomato Sauce
1 small Can Tomato Paste
I can Rotel Tomatoes
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Powder
Chili Powder
Black Pepper

Before everyone starts flipping out about canned beans, etc. If you want to go through the trouble of cooking all those beans from a bag for less preservatives, etc. Go for it. Me? I personally rinse off all the beans (except the chili beans) prior to putting them in the pot. Do what makes you happy.

Now then, because it is so hot, I cook this in my crock pot. You can also make it on the stove and it's just as good.

Into the crock pot add the diced onion, beans, tomatoes, jalapenos ( with juice, that's the good stuff), tomato paste and sauce.

Now comes the seasonings. I personally do not measure anything. I'm a firm believer in "eye balling" it. I'll do the best I can, but you can add more or less based on your own tastes. If I'm feeling adventurous and have it on hand, I will add masa to thicken it up and maybe a little beer. This is my standard version.

Add 1 TB garlic powder, 2 TB chili powder, 1 Tsp cayenne pepper ( I use a tablespoon), salt and pepper to taste and I will usually add a bit more jalapeno juice.

If you are cooking this in the crock pot, add about 1/2 a cup of water if you did not include the juice from the beans. This will keep everything from drying out. If you are cooking this on the stove and did not include the juice from the beans, add about half a cup of water or less. I personally just rely on the jalapeno juice for the main liquid and about 1/4 cup of water to the crock pot. Again, I like things hot and spicy. If you did just dump the beans in with all their glory, first -GOOD FOR YOU--second, you might not need any additional liquid.

Stir everything in the crock pot and turn the heat to low for 4 hours or high for two hours. If you are cooking it on the stove, it should take about an hour. You can quicken this process by sauteing the onions and jalapenos ahead of time. At this point you are truly just heating up the beans and melding the flavors. I would say it should only take about 30 minutes to cook.

I like to serve this over chips, either Frito's or corn chips with cheese, additional onion on top and sour cream.

It's also good over eggs, in enchiladas or in tacos. Ive tried it over hot dogs and its ok, but....not recommended.

See, now that's not so bad for a meal that doesn't include meat. Oh, did I mention that it's actually really cheap too?



  1. This sounds great Heather! And it actually is a good substitute for calorie-counters without the meat in it. NOW....if I could just convince your Dad that it's not a cardinal Texas sin to make a chili with beans in it!! Ha!

  2. Thanks Mary! Beans in chili is good..I don't care what state you are in! I checked my Texas rule book and I do not see where adding beans to your chili means you have to return your card. Ha!