Recipe Box: Festive Black Bean Chili

This vegan recipe is a long-time love and even a fan favorite of my meat-eating friends. It was also among the first “real meals” I learned to make in my post-college life, back before Y2K.

Umpteen years ago I moved to Ithaca, a stunning and liberal college town nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Back then, I was a 22-year-old college grad, a vegetarian and working my first job at the local newspaper, The Ithaca Journal.

Not two blocks away from my office, I came across a great vegetarian eatery that quickly became my go-to lunchtime haunt. The Moosewood Restaurant, known for its veggie and vegan fare, was widely known. I quickly fell in love with the food and in turn started acquiring Moosewood cookbooks. (Um, I confess I have more than a half dozen of them.)

This recipe, which I’ve adapted a bit over the years, was among the first I tried and remains one of my favorites. I hadn’t made it in years, but the other day, inspiration struck.

I forgot how damn good it was. So for you, my adapted version of Festive Black Bean Chili from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.

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Ingredients:

1 diced onion

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 15-oz can black beans

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup salsa

salt and pepper to taste.

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In a large pot, brown the onion with garlic in 1/2 cup of water for about five minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and stir on high heat for about a minute. Add salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat and cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add corn and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Stir every now and again and salt and pepper to taste. I typically pair this with either cornbread or tortilla chips (hint of lime flavor hits the spot!) Sometimes I top it with avocado before serving.

Serves 4 people. Reheats well. Each 11 ounce serving has 222 calories and 10 grams of protein (that’s without the bread, chips or avocado!) Enjoy!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

Happy birthday Meri (and Jay!) I used this because these two lovelies share a birthday!

On a completely unrelated note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERI! Today is our chick’s 30-somethingth birthday and we love her to bits! Make sure to wish her a happy day via Scoot’s social media or in the comments below!

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