My little slow cooker has been quite busy this week–and rightly so. We’ve had some of the coldest days here in Chicago in years. Having lived in New York, Utah, Vermont, and now Chicago I like to think I’m pretty good about the cold. But the truth is all I want to do is snuggle up in about 10 blankets by the fire, drink tea, and read books all day. Since there’s life and work to keep up with, plus the fact that we don’t have a fireplace, I tried to create that same level of comfort with our meals this week. Not only does the slow cooker guarantee a warm-you-from-the-inside dinner, it makes the house smell incredible for hours, which is a kind of cozy, homey comfort for me.
Let’s talk about this chili because it turned out even better than I imagined–and I already had high hopes. There are just so many different flavors: onion, garlic, jalapenos, chiles in adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Get your spice rack ready!
If you ever thought vegetarian meals are lacking in flavor (does anyone think that?) this meal would surely prove you wrong. Although the first few steps require a little more work than the typical toss in the slow cooker approach, they are so, so worth it.
Just chop your onions, jalapenos, and garlic cloves. Sautee in some olive oil. Your home already smells amazing.
Add your spices. Cook about 10 more minutes.
Add some veggie broth and scrape up brown bits (aka flavor)
Pour everything into the slow cooker.
Wait 7 hours…Party.
Garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro (not pictured) and sliced avocado. Serve over brown rice or quinoa if desired.
Have a great weekend! I start Sculpt training tomorrow. Freaking. Out.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp dried oregano
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (about 2 chiles minced)
2 Tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle chile in adobo
2 bay leaves
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
Salt & pepper
Garnish: chopped cilantro, avocado
1. Heat about 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Saute until vegetables brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup vegetable broth, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add to slow cooker.
2. To the slow cooker add: remaining vegetable broth, water, beans, mushrooms, minced chipotles, adobo sauce, and bay leaves. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
3. When done cooking, discard bay leaves. Transfer 1 cup of cooked beans to a bowl and mash with potato masher or back of fork until smooth. Return mashed beans to slow cooker. Add tomatoes into chili. Once heated through, about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution