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Black Bean Chili


Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from


Chili is my #1 go-to meal.  Beans provide fiber and protein, which make it filling.  The beans are also perfect for babies new to eating solids. This was one of the first foods I fed to all my children; I just mashed it up with a fork and spoon fed it to them.  As children start feeding themselves with their fingers, you can give them the beans and let them pick them up themselves.


Takes: about 30-40 minutes to make.  If you are really fast, it can be ready in 20 minutes.

Makes: enough for 2 adults and 4 children with some leftovers




  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 onion

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 1 red yellow or green bell pepper (if you don’t have one, you can leave it out)

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 ½  teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 cups chicken broth (or beef, or vegetable broth)

  • 2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes

  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans (or 4 cups home cooked black beans)

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon peppers in adobo sauce (more = spicier!)



Step 1

Prepare your ingredients: chop onion, mince garlic, chop bell pepper, drain black beans, open cans of tomatoes, measure spices and sugar into a small bowl


Step 2 

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until see-through and starting to turn brown on the edges.


Step 3

Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds.  Garlic burns easily, so don’t cook it for more than 30 seconds.


Step 4

Add beans, tomatoes, broth and brown sugar. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.  While it is simmering, prepare your chipotle peppers.


Step 5

Chop chipotle peppers as small as you can and add them to the simmering pot. You only need about 1 Tablespoon (only 1 teaspoon if you don’t like spice).  You can freeze the rest of the can for about a year.  I like my chili spicy, so I add 1 Tablespoon of peppers.  This ingredient is optional, but gives the chili good smokey flavor.


Step 6

Simmer for a total of 15-25 minutes.  Serve warm with sour cream, cheese and avocados!  Leftovers freeze well.  This recipe tastes great with cornbread (see recipe below) or baked potatoes.


Healthier Cornbread Recipe

Adapted from

  • 1 ¼ cups yellow cornmeal

  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt 

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cups buttermilk

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray or butter.

  2.  Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

  3. Whisk egg, buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

  5. Bake the cornbread until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature

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