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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cashew Chili

Day #5 of Soup Month brings us an ultra-healthy chili with...No Meat!  I know, that will scare some people but give this chili a try and you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious a vegetarian-style meal can be.

This lean vegan chili is low in fat and calories and high in fiber and flavor.  Since this recipe makes a pretty large batch, make this on Sunday night and you will have several days of yummy, healthy and ready-to-eat chili fur lunch or dinner.  Better yet, share a bowl with a friend, co-worker or family member. They will be asking for more!  Enjoy!

16 oz Dried Small Red Beans (or use Red Kidney Beans)
5 cups Water
3 Bay Leaves
4 TB Olive Oil, divided
2 Medium Onions, 1/2-inch dice
4-6 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Medium Green Peppers, 1/2-inch dice
2 cups Celery, 1/2-inch dice
2 TB Ground Cumin Seed
1 TB Ground Coriander
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 cans (14.5 oz each) Diced Tomatoes
1-1/2 cup (1/4 lb) Roasted Unsalted Cashews
1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

Sort and soak beans: Sort beans and discard warped/discolored beans. Place beans in a large stockpot and cover with water, allowing an extra 2 inches of water above beans. Soak 4-6 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook: Drain beans and discard soaking water. Add beans and 5 cups fresh water to a medium stockpot. Heat on high 10 min, uncovered, until boiling. Skim as much foam as possible from surface. Add bay leaves; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, tilted to vent steam. Cook 1 hour; and do not stir.

Heat 3 TB olive oil, onions, and garlic in large stockpot on medium-high for 2 min. Add peppers and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 min, until vegetables are tender.

Add remaining 1 TB oil, cumin, coriander, red pepper, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook about 1 min, stirring. Add tomatoes; reduce heat to medium. Simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.

Check beans for tenderness; they should be completely tender (if not tender, cover completely; cook additional 15 min or as needed). Most of the water will be absorbed at this point. Remove and discard bay leaves. 

Add beans to stockpot with veggie/tomato mixture; stir. Return to medium heat, add cashews and red wine vinegar and simmer. Cover, tilted to vent steam. Cook 15 min, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 14 1-cup servings.

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