Tonight I made this recipe for Three-Bean Chili, from Cooking Light's October 2006 issue. It's somewhat similar to my favorite Cheesy Vegetable Chili, but it has more beans and is super-spicy from the chipotle.
I reduced the recipe significantly (it must have been in an article about potluck dinners or something, because 16 servings is a lot!), and I omitted the onion (ran out) and cilantro (lazy). I added the chipotle chili at the beginning of the simmering process instead of waiting until the end because we like chipotle and I wanted to make sure it was nice and spicy. I also added green onions as garnish, along with the cheese and sour cream.
If you decide to make all 16 servings, this would reheat very well. It would probably also freeze pretty well.
We both agreed that it was excellent, and we really enjoyed it. It was spicy, but it had a lot of substance from the beans and vegetables. The sour cream was important to help balance things out. We would definitely make this again.
Three-Bean Chili with Vegetables
Chipotle chiles add a subtle smokiness and a touch of spicy heat. Cook this hearty, kid-friendly dish up to two days ahead. Thin it with a little water when reheating, if necessary.
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water and next 12 ingredients (through tomato paste); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until carrot is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and chipotle. Top with fresh cilantro, cheese, and sour cream.
Yield: 16 servings