Cowgirl Chili

Serves 6

From my book What The Fork Are You Eating?” © Stefanie Sacks, 2014

Black and pinto beans are from the same genus/species. Both are commonly grown not just in the U.S. but also around the globe. They are typically found dried in bags, and in most grocery stores’ bulk sections. You can also find them cooked, in jars, boxes or cans.

Cook: Like many other legumes, these can be purchased dry, soaked and pressure-cooked. But this is often a roadblock that keeps people from eating them. I choose black and pinto beans in a jar, box or can, but try to find them without disodium EDTA, a chemical preservative. Just drain and rinse and the beans are ready to go.

Eat: This chili is great as a dip for chips – the non-GMO corn variety – or over rice or stuffed in a taco or burrito. And don’t forget the fixings, like salsa and guacamole.

Store: An airtight glass container will keep this dish fresh for up to four days in the fridge but freezing is also an option. To reconstitute, add to a pot with about 1/2 cup of water.

Waste: Toss any greens that may be going bad into this dish, too. And don’t forget leaves and stems for your leafy green herbs.

Connect: This is a great dish to make with the family because there is enough prep to go around. Make sure to enlist help with the fixings – a perfect meal for Taco Tuesday.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, medium spice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 moons
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4 moons
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Add garlic and onions and sauté until soft and slightly golden. Add vegetables, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain beans using a fine mesh strainer or colander and rinse under cold water. Add to pot with diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Finish with cilantro and gently mix. Salt to taste.

Nutrition: 1 cup cooked of either black or pinto yields about 15.3 grams of protein and 53 percent of the daily value of fiber. Both are a very good source of folate, copper and phosphorus, in addition to other vitamins and minerals.