Motherhood, Art, Creative Play, and Finding Joy in Everyday Life

Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili


Today I want to share with you a terrific and malleable vegetarian chili recipe that I have made and enjoyed several times now. I originally tore a page out of Martha Stewart Magazine that featured it, and have kept it in my recipe binder. Each time I make it, it is slightly different from the last, but it is always yummy.

I will copy the recipe here, as I have it in my binder, but urge you to mix it up to suit your own taste, or your own groceries as I did.

Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili from Martha Stewart Magazine:
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 chipotle chili canned in adobo sauce, minced
1 can (28 oz.) whole plum tomatoes, drained and crushed (I usually just buy the pre-crushed or diced to save some work.)
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro (I feel like this is an awfully odd and precise measurement.)
Optional garnishes: chopped avocado, sour cream, sprigs of cilantro, lime wedges, or shredded cheese

1-Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, chili-powder, and chipotle, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, beans, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 hour.

2-Discard bay leaf. Add Swiss chard, and cook, uncovered, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

3-Garnish and serve.

I listed all of the ingredients here, but I don’t believe I have ever made this with all of the above. This most recent time, I omitted the jalapeno and chipotle, because I have a 22 month-old in the house who might not handle the spiciness. I also doubled the garlic, used less onion (because I only had 3/4 of one in the fridge), and used black beans instead of pinto. I didn’t have any cilantro on hand either, so we missed out on that. When the chili was almost finished, Jeramy gave it a tasting and added more of all of the seasonings. We chose to garnish with both avocado and sour cream this time around. I also sprinkle hot sauce fairly liberally on mine, as the one person in the house who likes my chili quite hot.

Another thing: this time the chili was more watery than usual. I have never had this problem before, but in the future I might start with just 2 cups of the water, and wait to add the final 1/2 cup only if needed. However, some people like a thicker chili (like me), and others might prefer it more liquidy. So adjust that to your liking as well. As I said, this recipe is easy to tweak.

I think my favorite part about making a big pot of this chili, is reheating leftovers for lunch throughout the week.


Author: thismummaslife

I am a Mumma, Wife and part-time Assistant Children's Librarian. I want this blog to be a collection of moments from daily life that may inspire or be relatable. Please feel free to leave me comments, thoughts, feedback or stories from your own life.

7 thoughts on “Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili

  1. That looks delicious!!! I’m so bad at food with steps, but this looks worth it! 🙂 By the way…I gave you an award at my blog! 🙂 You don’t have to follow all the rules, but I wanted to let you know! 🙂

  2. Where’s the beef?

  3. My solution to watery chili- a can on pumpkin purée. I actually never make chili without it. It thickens it a litte and gives you another great veggie.

  4. I like chili on the thick side too. The pumpkin comment is interesting, I hadn’t thought of using pumpkin as a thickener before. I usually use tomato paste.

    BTW I love that yellow pot with the interesting handle… where did you get that?

    • It is a hand me down from my husband’s Grandmother. We always admired it when we went to her house and we would all cook together. Her corn chowder recipe actually has the directions: “Use a big, yellow pot if possible.” added by her. The pot is part of a set of two, and she kept the smaller of the two, and gifted us the big one.

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