As the snow is falling hard (again) in Buffalo, I am sitting here wondering "and why do I continue to live here?" That's a joke of course. Buffalo really is a wonderful city, and the fact that we get to enjoy all 4 seasons is something that I definitely appreciate. I have had to shovel about 4 times within the past 24 hours though, which is not one of the highlights of the winter season.
But along with the snow and cold comes those warm soups, stews, and chilis, that we have all grown to love. Except for my husband. He won't touch a bowl of soup. His reason is that when he was growing up, his Grandfather would throw all the leftovers that were going bad in a pot, heat it up, and make "soup" for everyone to eat. Kinda funny, but that was like 25 years ago, Mike. Get over it! Just kidding, love you hunny!
Anyways, I LOVE soups, stews, and chilis! What is easier than throwing a bunch of veggies and beans in a crockpot and letting it cook by itself for a few hours? Crockpots are by far one of the best inventions ever. Most of us associate crock pots with throwing in a beef roast or some pulled pork, but it works just the same for plant based recipes. I made my first black bean chili the other day, and just had to share, because it turned out magnificent! (I usually don't make chili because no one else in my house will eat it, but I figured screw it! I'm going to make what I want for a change!)
Bangin Black Bean Chili
2 cups chopped onion
1 2/3 cups chopped bell peppers (I used yellow and red)
6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how spicy you want the chili)
3 15-16oz cans of black beans with 1/2 cup liquid reserved (I used 5 1/4 cups dry black beans that I had pre-cooked, and saved 1/2 cup of the cooking water)
1 16oz can of tomato sauce
Put all ingredients in a crock pot and mix well to coat beans. Cover and simmer on low for 4-6 hours.
Serve plain, or over brown rice or quinoa, and top with cilantro, non-dairy cheese or sour cream, or chopped green onions