Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm Trying Something New

My good friend Tweedles left a comment yesterday asking me to ask Mom if she would share some tasty vegetarian recipes. I asked Mom, who of course said yes and a light bulb went on over my head - Tasty Tuesday! I'm going to try this out for the next month of Tuesdays to see how it goes. Even if you're not a vegetarian Mom swears you'll still love the recipes. I'll have to take her word for it because I don't eat her food.

Today's recipe is one that Mom has been making forever. It's a staple in our house and can almost always be found in the refrigerator and freezer. It's super easy to make and it freezes really well.

Three-Bean Chili
The Vegetarian Slow Cooker
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped

1/2 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder, or more to taste

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and chili powder, and cook about 30 seconds longer.

Transfer the mixture to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, beans, and water, season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.


You can substitute 1 1/2 cups slow-cooked beans for the canned beans. Buying dried beans in bulk is the best option, but even buying a large multi-serving bag is better than buying single-serve. The plastic bags the beans come in are recyclable in most communities so check with your recycler before throwing the bags in the garbage.

Organic beans are the best option, but conventional will work if organic is not an option for you. One reason to choose organic beans besides the fact that they are organic is because they are more likely to come in BPA-free cans. Yes, BPA is used to line cans because it lengthens the shelf life of products. It may lengthen the shelf life but it could potentially shorten yours. Eden Foods does not use BPA in their canned beans. There may be other brands out that don't use BPA in their canned beans, so if you find another brand please leave me a comment.

It's much harder to find organic tomatoes in cans that aren't lined with BPA. Tomatoes are very acidic thus companies claim the cans must be lined with epoxy containing BPA. My advice is to limit your exposure as much as possible so choose wisely.

Slow cookers are an eco-friendly cooking method. They use less energy than using the stove, oven, or microwave. Plus they're easy to use - just put everything in, turn it on and let it do it's magic. While your food is cooking you can take the pug for a walk or put the pug in the bed and take a nap. I personally vote for nap.

Mom is a garlic freak so she triples the garlic in the recipe. She's also a ground black pepper lover so she doesn't measure it. She just puts the grinder over the cooker and grinds until it looks peppery enough for her.

One last thing. We use to have an old school blue flowered Crock Pot but then it died. Dad went out and bought a big huge All-Clad slow cooker that's bigger than what this recipe calls for and it works fine.

Please let me know if you make the chili and the products you used to make it. If you make it but doctored it up a little, let me know that too. Mom is always looking for ways to kick her cooking up a notch. I've never tasted the chili but that's not for lack of trying. Maybe an almost empty bowl to lick is in my future. Miracles do happen.


Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh Stubby
My moms is so happy that your already found a recipe to share.
My mom is jumping up and down and says she is in the mood.
I know your mom is a good cook- and she will be such a help to us.
Bes sure to thank your mom for us.
And we cannot wait to see more recipes.

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Hello My Stubby!

I Just think Tasty Tuesday is a fabulous idea! Big props to Tweedles too.
Yes, it's not secret my Mommy doesn't cook much. Daddy is the cook in this house.
Daddy makes pretty good things in the crock-Pot. When Daddy busted out the crock -pot one day, Mommy asked if he was going to bathe us. (Hee Hee Hee Hee...Snorts...)
Daddy says Mommy can even burn water. (Hee Hee Hee...Goose cough).
But Stubby, I am a Daddy's Girl and I can cooks. I will make you some 'um. I can't waits for more recipes.
Your Josie Girl

dw said...

I think sharing recipes is a great idea! Of course, Stubbs, seeing that light bulb go off in your mom's head must have been a scary thing! Heads don't usually take light bulbs! Heeeeeeee! I'm feeling the need for some puggie time -- maybe next week sometime.

THE PUGLET said...

Dude! What are you trying to do to me?? My human BARELY eats meat as it is, and now you're handing out your mom's best bean recipes?

I may never see meat again...

Melissa and Emmitt said...

tasty tuesday is fabulous!
we love this recipe!
this is going to be so fun!
great idea!
m & e

Stubby said...

Hi Tweedles! I'm so happy your mom is so happy! I don't know if my mom is a good cook but she does what she can. It's always healthier to make your own food at home than to go out to eat.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Josie Girl! I'm so glad you think Tasty Tuesday is a great idea. Tweedles definitely deserves all the credit for being the inspiration behind the idea.

I can't believe your mom thought the Crock Pot was for bathing puggies. How silly of her!

I'm glad you can cook because I love to eat!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi dw! The light bulb went off over my head and it was scary. Who knew there was a socket in my head for a light bulb?

Puggie time? Really? Next week works for me. Just say when and where and I'll be there. Can't wait to see you!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Puglet! Chill dude! Mom's bean recipes are pretty good but I'll talk to your mom about getting you some meat. Mom is definitely not going to let me post any meat recipes so we will have to do all our meat eating on the down low.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa & Emmitt! This is going to be fun. I'm so excited to be able to share the food that Mom loves so much. I hope some of you will make the dishes and come to love them too.

Stubby xoxo

Pearl said...

Stubby, Tweedles had a GREAT idea!!! And my momma thinks that recipe looks DELISH!

Momma's not a vegetarian, but she eats very little meat. I think we will be trying that chili!


Dana Orsborn said...

Hi Stubby!

This recipe looks delicious.
We'll have to try it.
We are in desperate need of some
easy, delicious vegetarian dishes we can make.

Penny and I hope you are having a
great week!

-Dana & Penny

Stubby said...

Hi Pearly Poo! I'm so glad you liked this recipe. That Tweedles is so smart for suggesting a recipe post. If your momma makes the chili, make sure she lets you lick the bowl!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Dana & Penny! I'm hoping you'll make this chili. Mom has so many vegetarian recipes to share so look for more in the coming month.

Stubby xoxo