Friday, September 16, 2011

Slow Carb Friendly, Vegetarian "Holy Trinity Chili w/ Red Beans"...oh and it's fat free too!

I've been testing a lot of recipes lately in my pressure cooker (s), specifically in my 4 qt PC, mostly Slow Carb friendly, and mostly different kinds of beans. As much as I use my pressure cookers there is still much to learn about it, like cooking unsoaked beans....dry beans. And although beans are not my "slow carb" choice, instead I prefer lentils and split peas, I cook and prepare more than my share of beans because I eat soup, stews or chilis on a daily basis.

I'm not a vegetarian, not even close, but because my meals are vegetable dominant most everything I make could be vegetarian minus the meat! I set out to test a chili recipe that would be fast and easy for a someone without a lot of kitchen experience. I wanted to design a recipe that did not require good knife skills and that did not require too many extra steps. So for the first time ever I used my food processor to chop the vegetables.

I did this for two reasons. I wanted to use the vegetables to flavor the chili as well as to thicken it. Originally I did not want to use tomato or any kind of tomato sauce or paste....that's the part that didn't quite work out! But I discovered one thing that I hadn't counted on which was it ended up being fat free....not that I believe in fat free meals, but if you add meat that's where you get some fat, or if you keep it vegetarian, and by saving a few calories from fat, you could top it with cheese, or sour cream.

I've made chili a thousand times and probably never the same twice. Chili is a very forgiving "stew" because the amount of spices you use pretty much can cover up any kind of mistake you could possibly make! Chili is defined many ways. Some say no beans (which could never be vegetarian of course), some say no tomato (I happen to be in this camp), some say no ground meats, some say no veg other than onion, but what they all agree on is spice! Chili has to have chili spices, that's what makes if chili!

Back to my "Holy Trinity Chili". After writing my blog post about mirepoix I was thinking how green bell peppers get a bad rap alot ot times. Green bells technically are not ripe yet, when they ripen they turn red, so especially raw, green bells may not have alot of fans. Personally I find green bells to make a nice addition for many stews and chilis, so I decided to focus this recipe on the South's holy trinity instead of the french carrot. And since I was using the South as my inspiration I also used red beans.

Holy Trinity Chili w/ Red Beans

chili spice mix

2 tbl chili powder
2 tbl smoked paprika
2 tbl dried oregano

2 tbl cumin (ground or flaked or combination of both)
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf

1-2 chipotle chilis (canned)

1 lg onion
3 celery stalks
1 lg green bell pepper
1-2 red bell peppers
1 14.5oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 garlic bulb (bottom 1/3 cut away)

1 1/2 c. red beans (dry and unsoaked)
4 c. water (or veg stock)

First thing is to assemble all of your ingredients as the recipe goes fast. Measure out dry chili spices, and have the chipolte (s) ready. Chop onion, celery, green bell and red bells into large chunks before putting them in the food processor. Process until small pieces, but don't pulverize them, do not turn them into paste! Open the can of tomatoes and measure out your beans. The garlic is a no brainer, just cut off the bottom third, the whole thing will go in the PC, no need to chop.

OK, heat your 4 qt PC. When the bottom of the pan is hot add your dry spices and toast for 1-2 min until fragrant...this happens fast! Add chipotle and toast with spices another minute, add chopped veggies. Mix spices and veggies, cook 3-5 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes with their juice, bulb of garlic, red beans and 4 c. water (or stock).

Lock the lid on PC, bring pressure to high. Lower heat to maintain high pressure and start timing 25 min. (dry beans take longer). Let the pressure come down naturally, about 5-10 min, open lid and test beans to make sure they are done. (I did this recipe twice and the first time they were not done at 20 minutes, so I added another 5 minutes).

Take out whole garlic bulb, bay leaf and chipotle chili (s). Mash with potato masher to thicken and season with salt and pepper.

NON VEGETARIAN Either brown some ground meat or sausage beforehand, (or a combination of both...I used chorizo), or in another skillet while chili is cooking and add to chili after it's done.

NON PC Basically the same recipe only with canned beans, drained and rinsed. After all ingredients are in the pot, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer (slightly uncovered), cook for 15-20 minutes to blend all of the flavors and proceed with recipe.


Maribel said...

I'm so looking forward for fall because I loooove hearty soups in the fall. Chilli is one of them.

I must confess, I've never really made Chilli until I met you. I do the heavy veggie AND meat. So filling and satisfying.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Well I'm happy to pass on a mid-west tradition!

I never ever made a pot of chili until I got the idea from my BFF Fawn Friday! It seems that states with some kind of wilderness area and a cold winter have the highest population of chili makers, lol! Funny that a "latin" spice like chili made such a presence in the Midwest. Hmnn, apparently it had to go through Texas, lol!

I should look into the history of chili....yea right, in my spare time!