Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick and Easy Red Bean Chili

Today has been one of those gray days where it looks as though it is going to rain any time but doesn’t, or at least not yet. Days like this make me want to take a nap more than anything else although I didn’t. Somehow I managed to get a few things accomplished in spite of my mood. I exercised, cleaned up the house a bit, wrote a couple posts, read some of my Rave Diet book, and sent some email. Not too bad for a lazy day when I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.

However I was not been much in the mood to cook today. Saturday I cooked a pound of red kidney beans to use on salad or in stew this week. With the gray weather I decided that a quick chili would be good to have on hand. We can always use the chili as is, on a taco salad, over a grain topped with tofu tahini sauce, topped with salsa fresca, combined with vegan queso and used to top nachos, mixed with a grain and stuffed into a tortilla shell and baked, or stuffed into a baked sweet potato. Chili has so many uses I like to make it for just that reason alone. Any recipe that has that many uses is a friend of mine. Tonight we had the chili as taco salad with spinach, raw broccoli, avocado, tomatoes and green onions and a few chips on the side. Here is what I did:

Quick and Easy Red Bean Chili
Serves 6 generously (approximately 2 cup servings)


1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ cup water to sauté the onions and garlic
6 cups red kidney beans, cooked without salt
3 – 10 ounce cans rotel tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
Black pepper, to taste
Crushed red peppers or cayenne, to taste


Water sauté the onions and garlic until tender.  Then add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes so the flavor can marry. Taste and add black pepper and/or crushed red peppers as desired.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 262.36
Calories From Fat (6%) - 16.45

Total Fat - 1.97g
Saturated Fat-  0.35g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1258.43mg
Potassium - 902.89mg
Total Carbohydrates - 49.57g
Fiber - 15.36g
Sugar - 5.02g
Protein - 15.47g


This is one of those quick recipes for nights when you need something filling but don’t feel like fussing in the kitchen. I make this when I want leftovers to use in different ways. In fact I have been known to make a double batch of this and freeze the leftovers in two cup portions to use later for lunch or a quick no fuss meal.

As you above this is a little high in sodium. That is due to the canned tomatoes and the portion size. If we had anything high in sodium earlier in the day I would reduce the portion size for dinner. But since we use very little salt and processed food I don’t worry about the sodium here. Our sodium target is 1,800mg per day and we normally stay under that target. Canned tomatoes sometimes push us over. I wanted to mention this since it is something I watch in our diet.

Unrelated note:

Today has been one blah day. It started off well but went downhill quickly. I swear I think I need sunlight to be in a good mood. When I feel like this I do a little extra exercise to boost my endorphins. I have a funny visual for you all. I have an exercise step in the family room so that I can get a little exercise in whenever the mood strikes me. I also use it to do crunches on. Today I was watching TV and doing crunches and the white cat (Nicco) decided I needed extra resistance. He decided to jump on me and stand a few inches from my head and lick my forehead. Having a cat stand on your chest while you crunch does add resistance more resistance than you think. My stomach muscles ache more than usual from crunches. If you want a better ab workout, get a cat. LOL!  Here is a picture of my little exercise partner.

Tomorrow we are supposed to start the day with more rain. Yay? However, we are supposed to get a little sun in the afternoon. Fingers crossed that the weather men are right about that. Not seeing the sun since Thursday I can feel the effects of sunlight deprivation setting in.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Monday. Well, as fabulous a day as is possible for a Monday. Talk to all tomorrow.


  1. MMM, I love the look of this with the raw broccoli; it would be so crunchy and savory at the same time.

    Sorry you had a blah day...I know how it feels;I usually feel that way when I'm trapped in my office ;)

  2. Rose,

    I love raw broccoli in salad. It is particularly good in this one since it was warmed a little by the heat of the chili.

    I used to get that blah feeling at work too. Sorry you can relate.


  3. Alicia, I love soups, stews, and chilis, and this sounds like an extra fast one. I use Rotel tomatoes a lot in the summer for an easy black bean salad, but this is a great way to speed up chili. Serving it on raw greens moves it into spring as well. Yum!

  4. Colleen,

    Rotel comes in handy for many things. I always keep a couple of cans on hand. I like your idea of using it for black bean salad. We do something similar with salsa. Next time I will try Rotel instead. Thanks for sharing the idea!

    I serve this over salad to increase the nutrition and make it a one dish meal. Anytime I can add raw or cooked veggies to a meal I will.

    I hope you have a great Tuesday,

  5. I always make extra chili to keep in the freezer for a super fast meal. Typically, however, we only tend to eat chili in the late fall and winter. I start craving it by October! Dogs make for good resistance too LOL.

  6. Heather,

    We don't eat much chili in the summer either but yesterday was cool and gray so it worked. Thanks for letting me I am not the only one to freeze extra chili.

    Dog resistance is for more serious exercisers like yourself. I am only at the one cat level now. With a little luck I can work up to two cats. LOL. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  7. I really need a tutorial on water sauté technique. I wind up with sludge or stewed onion – yuk! I'm also afraid of non-stick cookware. Do you use it?

  8. Elisabeth,

    I don't use non stick, although I used to. The PFOA worries me too. I threw all our non stick away. I tend to mostly used enameled cast iron. I will write a quick post on water sauteeing later today with as much detail as I can. Thanks for the question.


  9. Sarah,

    I thought the cat people would enjoy that, it cracked me up. My little guys have to be every place we are. My husband can't wait to see the replay. ;-)



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