Indian Inspired Chili

We eat a lot of beans in this house. Beans are a very healthy, protein packed food. I never add sugar or other sweeteners to my beans as I prefer savory or spicy dishes.  I am not one for baked beans as a rule.

This dish came into existence because I have recently begun soaking and sprouting my beans prior to cooking to increase the nutritional content of the food. This will also lower the phytic acid, which there is hot debate as to whether phytic acid is harmful or not. My belief is that a little bit of phytic acid here and there isn’t harmful, and in fact phytic acid does have some health benefits. Phytic acid can bind with the nutrients in the food and make them harder, if not impossible to absorb according to some sources, and pre-soaking and sprouting your seeds, nuts and grains is suppose to remove phytic acid.

Throwing the phytic acid debate out of the window, I like to pre-soak and sprout for a few reasons, namely because it makes cooking take less time and it increases the nutrition in the food greatly. Foods increase in vitamin C, K, Omega-3’s and so forth depending on what you decide to sprout.  For this recipe I soaked a one pound bag of black beans and a one pound bag of brown eyed peas overnight, and then rinsed and drained for two days prior to cooking. I will start there.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of dry beans that have been soaked overnight at the least. They will weigh significantly more after soaking, I used one pound each of black beans and brown eyed peas but type is optional.

1 jar marinara sauce

1/2 a head of purple cabbage chopped

2 large onions chopped

3 -4 carrots

3-4 celery shoots

1 bulb garlic, peeled and finely chopped. I used a mild commercial garlic, if you use a hot garlic you may want to scale back as the flavor in garlic varies in intensity.

Juice from 1 lemon

Several kumquats.  If you don’t have kumquats available a few wedges of any citrus would work nicely.

A handful of baby kale leaves or any other leafy green for garnish

a 2-3 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1-3 hot peppers. I used one bright red habanero chopped but if you don’t like hot food consider a milder pepper and leave it whole to remove after cooking. If you chop it the food will be hotter.

1 tbl coconut oil (or 1 tbl butter or ghee, EEVO is good to however it doesn’t hold up to heat as well.)

1 tbl grass-fed ghee (or a tbl of butter or more coconut oil, or EVOO)

Turmeric – 1 tbl

Cumin – 1 or 2 tbl

Rosemary – 1 tbl (Fresh would be best but I didn’t have any because my cat killed it so dried works. Chop or pulse through food processor if you don’t like whole rosemary leaves in your food. I just threw them in whole.)

Nutritional Yeast -To taste. (May be more difficult to find but some chain stores do carry it. Hannaford does. Health food stores will definitely have it. Worth the search.)

Thyme – 1 tsp

Salt – To taste, I used about 1 tsp

Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp (Black pepper is a bit of a contentious ingredient in my circle of friends. Some believe it to be irritating to the body. I use a small amount when I use Turmeric because I read that it helps your body increase the absorption of the cucurmin in turmeric by 5000%. I can’t verify if this is true, but just in case I will often add in a small bit.  I believe the key to anything is to use harsh spices in moderation.)

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Take the pre-soaked beans and cook until tender with just enough water to cover. May take about an hour. I didn’t time it.
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Helpful tip: Crush your garlic cloves under your knife blade before peeling. It will loosen the peels and make them easier to come off.
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See? The peel just pops off.
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Combine the ghee, coconut oil, cabbage, onion, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice in a frying pan and cook on med-high heat until the cabbage is al dente.  Just slightly softened but still with a slight crisp.  Cook just long enough for the flavors to blend well. Do not overcook.
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Drain off any excess water from the beans after cooking if there is a lot of extra water. A small amount of water is ok. Add in the jar of marinara sauce to the beans.
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Take all the spices except for the Nutritional Yeast and add to your beans.  You may want to chop or grind the rosemary. It’s optional.
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Combine all the above ingredients and cook on med low for 10 – 15 mins, stirring often.  You can cook longer to thicken, intensify heat, etc. but I prefer minimal cooking to retain nutrients and some spices such as garlic and rosemary get bitter if cooked to long.
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Wash your carrots and celery thoroughly. I don’t peel them but if you want to you can. I like to believe the peelings are full of nutrition. I cut off the ends and any damaged parts.
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I cut mine lengthwise into quarters.  The carrots and celery help to cool the mouth from the heat of the peppers in the chili if it proves to be to much. Cucumber would be another nice veggie to add. They are also good sources of carotenoids and vit K.
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Scoop into bowls, add the garnish of baby greens and kumquats, or citrus wedges on top. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top for flavor and nutrients. I forgot about the nutritional yeast when I took the pictures. You could also serve over rice, or with a slice of toast. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
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My son insisted on the T-Rex joining him for lunch.
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My daughter wanted some water to cool the heat a little. She insisted on a bluebird napkin for decor.
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