Thursday, March 19, 2009

Two Bean Chilli with Cashews

Chilli and cornbread go together like peas in a pod.

A great vegetarian dish is chilli. Some people perish at the thought of a meatless chilli, but I have always thought that the great spices and tomato and onion flavors are the biggest ingredients. I added two kinds of beans: black and kidney. The addition of cashew nuts was inspired by some vegetarian chillis I have had in the past. It adds a nice crunch and sweetness.

Sauteeing onion, garlic, and bell peppers.

Vegetarian chilli allows for freedom - you can add in whatever vegetables you like. I always like to start with onion, garlic and bell peppers sauteed in some olive oil. It is such a flavorful base. This is then added to diced tomatoes and tomato paste. I then add some chilli powder, cumin, red chilli flakes, salt, and pepper. The spicier you want it, the more chilli powder or red chilli flakes you would add. Then you can get creative, add in some chopped portabellos or diced carrot - whatever you fancy. Let simmer for 30 minutes and dinner is served. I always serve my chilli with cornbread. Yum.

Two Bean Chilli with Cashews

15 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can black beans
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper (JAM Note: Used half red, half green)
1/3 c cashews
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp cumin

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped cashews and toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Remove cashews and set aside. Heat olive oil in same skillet and sautee onions and bell pepper. Add garlic after a couple minutes and sautee until tender. Heat tomatoes and paste in a large pot. Add sauteed vegetables, and spices. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes and then add cashews and cook for 5 minutes. Top with shredded cheese and some good cornbread.

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