We had a gorgeous 75 degrees sunny, Carolina blue sky day in Charlotte today. That alone begged me to get outside rather than spending time in my favorite place, the kitchen, But the reality is that it is December and a time of year during which more people than ever are sick, overwhelmingly busy, and chronically tired. Good, real, naturally rich in vitamins and antioxidants colorful food is a must to get through it all.
One solution is to resort to your slow cooker.
Although I resisted and remained quite uninterested in joining the Crock Pot crusade for years because either I thought that was such a fancy cook that that the thought of tossing ingredients into something that would do all the work would obviously bore me and undermine my culinary skills or I was in denial that it could really change my life. So I was a late bloomer in this regard but now I am utterly fascinated with what feels like instameals! I can now tell you that the slow cooker is not to be mistaken as a lazy person’s apparatus.
(My fave chili powder for both this recipe and for enchilada sauce.)
The simmering and stewing that happens in this magical vessel melds flavors and lends a rich depth only found in a patient, gourmet chef’s stove top cooking.
I wanted to provide this chili recipe to you because it delicious on its own but can also be further enhanced or made heavier with additional sources of protein or other vegetables like sweet potato, eggplant, squash and such. This chili is plant based, oil free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, and gluten free.
But don’t let me stop you from adding cheese or eating it piled onto nachos!
Time Saving Restorative Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
GF, DF, NF
Serves 6 or lunch for a few days or freezes well
1 small or 1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 13.5 oz carton/15 oz can/or 4 cups home cooked black beans – preferably unsalted or low sodium
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp agave nectar (can skip)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste but I recommend around 1-2 tsp and 1/2 tsp respectively
Optional: scallions, chives, cheese, hot sauce, salsa, sour cream, yogurt, cayenne pepper and consider serving as is, with chips, tortillas, rice, or quinoa
Mix all ingredients together in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
It will develop a darker, rich color. The kids loved it and didn’t even pick anything out.