Dietitian's tip: Traditional chili takes on a new look with the addition of colorful roasted bell peppers and black, cannellini and Anasazi beans. Serve as a main dish with corn bread or crusty whole-grain bread.
- 3/4 cup each dried cannellini or red kidney beans, black beans and Anasazi beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large green bell peppers, roasted and seeded
- 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and seeded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then diced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
- 6 tablespoons shredded queso asadero or Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, thinly sliced
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, water, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender but still firm, 60 to 70 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaf.
When the beans are cooked, coarsely chop the roasted bell peppers and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cooked beans, tomatoes and cilantro and cook until the tomatoes are heated through, 5 to 6 minutes. Ladle the chili into individual bowls and sprinkle with the cheese and green onions.