Using soaked dried beans really gives chili a fresh taste that is full of flavour – and it’s easier than you think! All you have to do is know that you want chili tomorrow night for dinner…
Place 2 cups of dried beans of your choice in 6 cups of water and leave them to soak for at least 8 hours. When you’re ready to use the beans, drain the water and rinse the beans. Then place the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover the beans by about one inch. Bring the water to a boil, and turn heat down to medium heat for about 30-40mins (replace any water, if needed). Meanwhile, prepare your veggies and any side dish. When beans are soft in texture, drain water and gently rinse beans. Now they are ready to use!
However if you didn’t make time to soak & boil the beans, and want to make up a quick chili, you can just use canned beans – they still make for a great chili. And you can find canned beans from Eden Organic which are BPA-free! (as a little reminder, BPA is an hormone disruptor which mimics estrogen, leading to healthy effects that are harmful to our women, men, and especially our children). As for canned tomatoes, there’s no company that makes BPA-free canned tomatoes as of yet. So, if you really want to reduce your intake of BPA (especially for your children), use home-canned tomatoes or diced tomatoes in glass jars. Here is an article that is easy to read & also has more information on BPA-free food products.
We like to serve this meal over short grain brown rice, or with a slice of toasted gluten-free bread – our favorites are kinnik-kinnick’s sunflower flax bread, Glutino’s flax seed bread, or any bakery-made or home-made bread. We also like Silvery Hill’s sprouted grain breads (they are not gluten-free) – Mack’s Flax, Big 16, or Squirrelly.
Soaked dried beans: Soak 2 cups dried beans (your choice: garbanzo, black, pinto, kidney) at least 8 hours or overnight in 6 cups of water. Drain water, rinse beans, and place in a large pot with enough water to cover the beans by about one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and boil for about 30-40mins (replace water if needed). When beans are soft, drain and rinse gently… OR… Canned beans: Choose 2 of the following cans of beans: garbanzo, black, pinto, black eyed peas, cannellini, or kidney (small red) beans – ideally from a BPA-free source such as Eden Organic
- Beans (canned or soaked & boiled)
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large (28oz) can or glass jar of diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (organic is best – celery is high on Dirty Dozen List)
- ½ green or red bell pepper, chopped (ideally organic – Dirty Dozen List)
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp sea salt (or Zesty Hebamare – this is my secret ingredient… can be found at Superstore, Sobeys, & Corn Crib)
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- grated cheese, as garnish
- avocado chunks, as garnish
– Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Quickly add chopped onion, garlic and carrot, sautee for about 3 minutes.
– Add spices and sautee for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
– Then, add celery and bell pepper. Keep stirring to mix spices together with veggies.
– Add diced tomatoes and beans (we like to use a fork and mash some of the beans before adding to give the chili a nice thick texture). Bring to a near boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 15-20mins.
– Garnish & serve with rice or toast side dish (recommended above) for a filling meal.
(*To make this a Non-Vegetarian Chili, just cook 1 lb ground beef fully with onions and garlic. Add carrots after ground beef is cooked.)