There is a growing trend of going meatless on Mondays. I’m no vegetarian or vegan, but I certainly see the advantages to “Meatless Mondays.” Choosing one day a week to enjoy meals without meat, seafood, or poultry gives me the opportunity to stretch my creative cooking muscles. I look for ways to boost fiber and nutrition while saving a buck (meatless meals almost always cost less). Black Bean Chili is my contribution to this week’s “Meatless Monday.” If you make this chili, don’t skip the fresh herbs. Chopped fresh cilantro (or if you prefer, parsley) brightens the flavors. You won’t miss the meat!
There’s no need to presoak beans if you’re using a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, substitute a large (15.5 oz.) can of black beans for the dried in the recipe. Cook over low heat in a covered saucepan for an hour.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 – 4 cloves garlic
2 cups (1 pound) dried black beans
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 quart + 1 cup liquid (broth, water, beer—your choice)
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper (optional—taste before adding)
Juice of one lemon (optional)
Spray the inside of a 6-quart pressure cooker with the nonstick cooking spray.
Chop the onion and garlic (I use the Vitamix).
Over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic. Add the chili powder.
Rinse beans and remove any hulls. Add beans to the pressure cooker pot.
Add tomatoes and green chilies, stir to combine, then pour in all the liquid.
Secure lid to the pressure cooker and bring to pressure.
Cook under pressure for 35 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own for 5 minutes.
Carefully release pressure and open pot according to your manufacturer’s instruction.
(Optional step) Scoop out a cup of the beans and puree then stir in to thicken chili.
Stir in chopped cilantro (or parsley), the juice of a lemon (optional but good!), and then serve topped with a tablespoon of your favorite topping, such as sour cream, shredded cheese, or salsa.
Yield: 6 1-cup servings
If you prefer chili that’s more soup-like in consistency, increase the liquid to 1½ quarts. Vary the recipe with different kinds of beans and flavorings. Caution: Do not decrease the liquids as they are necessary to pressure cooking safety.