Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pinto and Black Bean Chili with Summer Squash and Fresh Salsa

(pictured: pinto and black bean chili with summer squash topped with fresh salsa)

Chili is something we like at our house. I try to make a big batch of beans each week either in the form of soup, bean dip, or a vegetable and bean casserole. If you have read “Eat for Health” by Dr. Fuhrman you know that he recommends that everyone eat beans each day. Incorporating beans into our daily diet has had the impact of making me feel lighter and generally healthier. I think eating beans has also improved my complexion. If you haven’t incorporated beans in your daily diet I think it is worth trying to see if you feel and look better too.

This chili is enhanced by the inclusion of the fresh salsa. We enjoy the combination of hot and cold food, as well as soft and crunchy items. The acid in the salsa adds considerably to the flavor of the chili. This is an example of the sum being greater than the parts.

Pinto and Black Bean Chili with Summer Squash and Fresh Salsa
Serves 8

Chili Ingredients:

2 cups of dried pinto beans, sorted, rinsed and presoaked
2 cups of dried black beans, sorted, rinsed and presoaked
8 cups of water to cook beans
4 bay leaves
½ tablespoon of canola oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
14 ounces tomato sauce
1 chipotle in adobo, finely minced
2 zucchini cut into ¼ inch dice
2 yellow summer squash cut into ¼ inch dice
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
½ tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Salsa Ingredients:

½ red onion, finely diced
4 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 cucumber, finely diced
½ cup cilantro, finely diced
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 avocado, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste


Cook the beans in two separate pots until tender. The beans should be tender in about an hour. The actual time the beans take to cook is dependent on the age of the beans.

When the beans are cooked, drain and rinse them and hold them for later.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the zucchini and squash are tender. The squash should be tender in about 15 – 20 minutes.

When you add the squash to the chili begin making the salsa. Combine everything for the salsa except the avocado and toss to combine. Add the avocado at the end and toss gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper as necessary.

To serve place the cold salsa on top the hot chili.

Nutritional Ingredients:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 346.87
Calories From Fat (15%) - 51.66

Total Fat - 6.07g
Saturated Fat - 0.88g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 581.47mg
Potassium - 1855.98mg
Total Carbohydrates - 59.18g
Fiber - 17.71g
Sugar - 10.23g
Protein - 18.74g


Everyone had a large bowl of bean and squash chili tonight with a big serving of salsa. The chili is intentionally mild since I was making dinner tonight for both my husband and elderly parents. If you like heat expect to need to increase the chili powder and chipotle.

This chili would not be as good without the fresh salsa on top. I would highly recommend that you make both the chili and the salsa and store the leftovers separately. If you want to take this chili over the top you could make some tofu sour cream and combine it with avocado and cilantro (making avocado crema) and put that on top the chili as well.

The chili contains a nice amount of potassium (1850 mg’s), Vitamin A (2250 IU’s), folate (400 mcg’s), phosphorous (380 mg’s) and magnesium (170 mg’s). The fat in this dish is low (15% of total calories) and most of it is monounsaturated fat. Omega 6 fat, which is inflammatory and we are trying to minimize, amounts to 0.16 mg’s per serving.


  1. The chili looks really satisfying.

    I think you've convinced me to get the "Eat for Health" books. Another book I want to add to my library is "Prescripton for Nutritional Healing" by Phyllis Balch. Have you read anything by her? Her books are supposed to be good resources.

    Anyway, I've been slammed this weekend with housework and study. I'm looking forward to a couple of hours of "me" time today in the garden.

    Rose :)

  2. Rose,

    I have read "Eat for Health" three times now. When I read "Eat to Live", by the same author, that was what started me down the vegan path. In addition to the beans everyday he also recommends everyone eat a pound of vegetables and fruit in order to get all the antioxidants they need for good health.

    We have a much earlier edition of "Prescripton for Nutritional Healing" which must be 10 years old by now. I am sure my copy is outdated, but I got a lot of good info from it.

    Enjoy your time in the garden. Don't let me forget to share what I heard from the CSA farmer about growing ginger. She makes is sound so easy we are going to give it a try. I think even I can grow it ..... but we will see.


  3. I definitely think we get our pound of fruit and veg on a daily basis...we eat beans every week, but not every day...I need to start making them more often.

    I can't wait to hear about the ginger.

  4. Rose,

    I think I will do a post on the ginger as soon as I get it growing. The farmer told me to pick a piece with many "nubs" and allow it to sit on the kitchen counter for a week and green shoots will begin to appear. The shoots will tell you which direction to put it into the dirt. Then plant it like iris and put it in an enviroment like an African violet (sunny, not too wet). According to the farmer in 9 months you can harvest some of the ginger and start again. Sounds easy enough, even for me.

    She also recommended a website that I think you will like.

    If my ginger sprouts and begins growing inside I will let you know. She did say it needs a big container so it has room to spread.

    talk to you soon,


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