Well, I made my first attempt at making an entirely ‘on-my-own’ recipe… not following a cookbook or anything! I have to say, it came out pretty darn well. I was going for Black Bean Chili, but as you’ll see from the pictures, it came out more like soup. I think I know what I need to omit now…
Why did I attempt to make up my own recipe? One, I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who “experiments” in the kitchen. I’m envious of those who can see what’s on hand in the kitchen and make a delicious meal from it (my boyfriend is one of those people, which is great for using up old food, but he always shows me up! ) Two, since our Market on the Move trip, we’ve had a ton of tomatoes to use and I wanted to see if I could use the majority of them instead of freezing them.
What makes this southwest? The addition of some spicy ingredients… And, of course, because it was made here in the hot, wonderful, dry Southwest!
So without further ado, here is my
Slow cooker Southwest Black Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sized yellow onion
- 2 medium sized yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped (you could probably use whatever bell peppers you have on hand– yellow is what we had!)
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 28 ounces (ish) crushed tomatoes (I pureed about 28 ounces of all the tomatoes we had in a blender, but I know you can buy canned crushed tomatoes, and I believe they come in that size)
- 2 cans black beans (I used Eden Organic Black Beans)
- 1 cup water (you don’t need this if you use more tomatoes, like I did)
- 2 jalapenos (more if you want it hotter!) – seeded or not, it’s your call. I seeded one and kept the seeds in the other- spicy!
- black pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in the chili powder and cook about 30 seconds to a minute longer.
- Transfer onion mixture into a 4-6 qt. slow cooker (ours is a 4 qt., I believe). Make sure that you don’t fill it past 3/4s full, otherwise it could bubble over.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, water, and jalapenos. Only add the water if you want it to be more soup-like, otherwise leave it out for a thicker, chili-like recipe.
- Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
Want to make it chunkier? You can add some store-bought or homemade soy chorizo, like I did the next day for lunch, or you can cook up some plain couscous or quinoa and throw that in there to soak up some of the more ‘soup-like’ aspects of the chili.
Again, the great thing about slow cooker recipes is that you do all the work in the morning (or the night before, if you’re pressed for time in the mornings), throw it in the slow cooker for the hours you’ll be at work (most slow cooker recipes are 8 hours or so), and then you have dinner waiting for you when you get home!
I really want to investigate using the slow cooker for breakfast foods, and I also heard a rumor that slow cookers can make bread… say what? Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted!