Friday, February 27, 2015

the poverty luxe kitchen vol. 3: vegan black bean chili.

jusssstt in case we have any new readers/while were still sort of on the topic of this sort of re-brand happening here i would just like to reiterate: the poverty luxe kitchen is a new recurring segment where i talk about food, recipes, kitchen hacks, etc., and how they relate to the poverty luxe lifestyle. as of right now its still in its baby stages (though you can read vol. 1 and vol. 2 to catch up if you so desire), but im still really, really excited about the direction this is headed in already. 

now without any further ado, lets talk about chili. even though here in los angeles were dusting off the bathing suits and getting ready for spring time, the internet has made me aware that this is very much not the case in the rest of america. so chili seemed like a good topic for this week. 

i like chili. im pretty sure i always have. its spicy, its hearty, its easy, and its total comfort food. the thing is, it usually comes from a can, which can be great for price and convenience, but isnt always so great in terms of nutrition and accommodating my dietary limitations. but it doesnt have to come from a can. you can totally make it yourself and its super awesome and cheap and not even hard. 

this recipe, like the majority of recipes in my mental library, has evolved quite a bit over the past few years since i started making it: first i had a recipe for a blended black bean soup, then i got lazy and stopped blending it, then i started cramming vegetables in it as an attempt to be healthier, and finally, i was like "hey this soup is basically chili" so i added more spices and now its basically always on our meal rotation. 

why? because its delicious, duh. also, its super, super cheap and basically entirely consists of stuff we usually have lying around. also also, this recipe makes a huge ass pot of chili that i can portion and freeze and feed my family a good five or six times before we run out and its time to make it again. also also also, it has the added benefits of not only being gluten/soy free (actually it can be entirely allergen free if you omit the corn), AND vegan. so if youre ever faced with a situation where you have to cook a meal for someone with impossible dietary needs, youre welcome. 

i think ive blabbered on enough, whos ready to make some chili?!

heres what you need: 

(recipe makes 12 + meal sized portions)

1 lb black beans, soaked and cooked (or 4 cans, i wont judge) 
1 can corn (or 1/2 bag of frozen corn, totally optional if you want to make this allergen free)
1 can tomatoes (nope, i dont have an alternative to suggest)
1 bell pepper, any color (also optional)
3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stalks
1 onion
4-5 cloves garlic
1 qt vegetable stock (i make my own)
olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder (not the hot kind)
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if youre not into spicy things)
salt + pepper to taste

heres what you do: 

start by finely chopping garlic and onion, and in your biggest pot, sauté those in some olive oil on medium-high heat until they start to soften. 

chop carrots, celery, and bell pepper and add those to the onion/garlic, continue to sauté until things start browning. season with salt and/or pepper as you feel necessary. 

next add your stock, beans, corn, tomatoes, and spices, give everything a good stir and bring it to a boil. 

reduce heat and simmer gently until the carrots are cooked through. 

aaaaannndddd youre done! 

you can eat this immediately, maybe with some cheese on top (in which case it would no longer be vegan, but you know) or some cornbread, put it on baked potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, anything youd do with chili. and the best part: it freezes beautifully so you can make this once, and keep eating it for a very, very long time. 

hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i have, be sure to stop by and let me know what you think after youve tried it out!

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