Hi friends! Happy FRIIIIIDAY! This week I made chili. Again… I’m tweaking a recipe I’ve used several times, determined to make it the PERFECT chili= spicy, hearty, flavor- and veggie-packed. I have a secret weapon at my house.. my hubby! The Pilot is the pickiest spice-lover I’ve ever seen. I force him to try one bite of every dish before adding hot sauce, and if he doesn’t add any (super rare)… I know my flavors must be perfect! Let’s just say, he ate at least half of this bowl of chili before adding his beloved sriracha, so.. winner-winner-chicken-dinner! We both loved it!! So now I want to share it, this oh-so-perfect chili of mine. It’s nice & spicy, but just enough to warm you up 🙂
Chili is one of those staple foods, perfect for pot lucks, game day, and rainy days. Sundays, Mondays, & Tuesdays, too.. so I always cook up a pretty good size batch to save for left overs. It also freezes perfectly!
*21 Day Fixers... Tip Time!⇢cook up a batch, portion out single servings, freeze & pull out for a day when that healthy meal you meticulously planned fell through because, oh hey, life is like that sometimes. It definitely beats turning to fast food or a frozen pizza!!!
The Stars of the Dish
Beans of choice– I like black, dark red kidney, and cannellini (white kidney) beans. For this batch, I just used double dark red kidney because that’s what was in the pantry. It’s all about flexibility, friends!
For the veggies– corn, zucchini, onion, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, & green pepper. Seasonings– coconut oil, minced garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon, bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and then your base of vegetable broth.
The ingredients list may seem long but it’s all quick, simple, and straight forward… and likely ingredients you have on hand! For a quick fix, you could buy one of those pre-mixed seasoning packets… but making your own blend is also quick and tastes even better!
This, my friends, is why we all love soups… they are warm & comforting, yet quick & easy one-pot meals that you can pack out with healthy yums. I love to make soups in my heavy duty enameled cast-iron dutch oven⇢ not familiar?? It’s a large, heavy work horse of a pot that cooks both on the stovetop or in the oven. Dutch ovens are the perfect tool for making slow-simmered soups and browning veggies or meat. (Also great for no-knead breads.. I’ll share my favorite soon!) They heat super evenly and hold heat well. I have a 6 Qt. Lodge enameled cast iron and love it!
Okay let’s get to work.. there are only two steps to this recipe– first, sauté the zucchini, onion, green & red pepper, & garlic in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Second, add in your beans & all the rest of the ingredients, then let the magic happen as it simmers into a perfectly seasoned pot of warm, spicy deliciousness. Leave it at a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and done! (Make sure to remove the bay leaves before eating, although I leave them in my leftovers.. it adds to the ‘better the next day’ flavor!) Top it with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (Try it! It’s a perfect substitute for sour cream!) & a sprinkle of cheese.
Enjoy this perfectly spicy bean chili, my friends! And let me know if you try it! I’d love to know how you like it. Recipe card and 21 Day Fix breakdown are below! xoxo
21 DAY FIX BREAKDOWN:
1 GREEN (VEGGIES)
1 YELLOW OR RED (BEANS) ⇠ IN A VEGETARIAN OR VERY PLANT-BASED DIET, BEANS CAN COUNT FOR RED (PROTEIN) RATHER THAN YELLOW. CHOOSE WHAT FITS YOUR DIET!
.5 BLUE (SHREDDED CHEDDAR))
.5 TEASPOONS (COCONUT OIL)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers, any color, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can of dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 5 teaspoons cumin
- .5 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2.5 teaspoons paprika
- 4 bay leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- natural greek yogurt, for topping
- shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
- In a large heavy pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the zucchini, onion, green & red pepper, & garlic.
- Add beans & all remaining ingredients down to salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Top it with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (Try it! It’s a perfect substitute for sour cream) & a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.