Need a simple, hearty and comforting weekday meal? I’ve got a good one for you, try my recipe for bean and tomato chili, and serve it over corn pasta. It is so good, and in my neck-of-the-woods, the weather still permits a warm, filling dinner. The red wine vinegar and cilantro add a wonderful zest to this dish. It would also taste great over brown rice or along side a slice of cornbread.
This chili is cooked in the crock-pot, so you can start it in the morning and forget about it until dinner time. You may even have most of the ingredients in your cupboard, saving you a trip to the market. Some of my favorite meals are the ones where you don’t have to do a lot of work, but you can enjoy the aroma of the food cooking all day while you go around doing other things instead of cooking. This dish is low-fat, high-protein, hearty and really very delicious (as well as vegan, soy-free and gluten-free – of course).
Italian Bean and Tomato Chili over Corn Penne
(use organic ingredients if you can)
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes in tomato puree
4 ounces of tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 roasted red pepper, chopped (I used canned red peppers)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Sriracha chili sauce to taste (optional)
1 – 16 ounce bag of gluten-free corn pasta, cooked according to package directions in salted water (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
In a slow-cooker, or electric crock-pot, pour in the beans after they have been drained and rinsed. Then add the tomato paste, water and red-wine vinegar. Stir and turn the crock-pot on to the high setting. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cook on high for one hour, lower temperature to low for another hour or more.
I cook this chili for several hours, about 5, to let all the flavors blend together nicely. When it’s almost dinner time, turn the crock-pot setting to warm and prepare your pasta. I added a touch of olive oil to our penne before covering it with the chili. And that’s that. Another great thing about this dish is that it’s huge! You could feed a small army, or have lunch and dinner again the next day or two.