Tag Archives: chili

Vegetable and Black Bean Chili

31 Jan

The weather outside is frightful! It was an incredibly long day which began with me waking up at 3:30 am only to be poked and prodded for the better part of the day as part of a military medical consult. Thereafter, I went straight to work, and then to class at 6pm. By that time,  a snow/ice mix started dumping on our city. Thankfully, class ended up getting canceled, and there couldn’t have been a better night for it! I am exhausted, and it was so nice to curl up on the couch with a bowl of warm, comforting chili.

I remember when my husband and I used to make vegetarian chili from a box mix. Then, one day, I discovered Epicurious.com and stumbled upon the first recipe I wanted to try: Vegetable and Bean Chili. We made a few adjustments to fit our personal taste, and it was a hit! The zucchini, green peppers, and beans make the dish so hearty, even without meat. And the secret ingredient: chocolate! It may seem odd, but the chocolate adds a great depth of flavor.  I will never go back to chili from a box again.

Vegetable and Black Bean Chili (adapted from Vegetable and Bean Chili on Epicurious)


* 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
* 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1/2 fresh jalapeño chile, finely chopped (excluding seeds, unless you really like the heat)
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tbsp chili powder
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 2 tsp salt
* 28 oz can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
* 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed
* 1 tbsp chopped semisweet chocolate
* 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
* Cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, for serving (if desired)


  • Sauté onions, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño in oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes with juice and zucchini and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  • Stir in beans and chocolate and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Top with cheddar cheese and sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips (if desired)

Makes 4 servings.