It’s hard to believe my due date is now less than two weeks away. It would be easy to fixate on that completely, but about a month ago Andy and I made a conscious decision not to sit around and wait for our son to make his grand entrance. Since then we’ve gone to restaurants we’ve wanted to try, checked out museum exhibits that have been on our list, and gone to lots of movies. (It’s Netflix-only for the foreseeable future!) We’ve completed house projects that have been on our “to-do” list for awhile. And most importantly, we’ve been making time for friends we won’t see quite as often as we adjust to life as a family of three.
A couple of Mondays ago I invited my girlfriends over for dinner. At that point the holiday parties were in full swing, and I wanted to make a meal that wouldn’t leave us wishing we’d worn stretch pants. Mindful of the fact that I’m still working, it had to be something I could make in advance and simply reheat when I got home from work.
For many winters now I’ve been making a vegetarian version of Mom’s Blue Ribbon Chili from her third book, CookSmart, but I’d never blogged the recipe. The weekend before my dinner, Mom and I threw together a double recipe of chili which made enough for my dinner for eight with a portion siphoned off for Mom and Dad.
The night of the dinner I simply opened a few bottles of wine, set out guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips, followed by a big bowl of this hearty but healthy three-bean chili, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro. The girls raved about it and asked for the recipe, so I knew it was worth sharing. As I start to think about cook-and-freeze meals for when the baby comes, this recipe is at the top of my list.
- ½ cup mild chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, cut into medium dice (about 4 cups)
- 1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can each (15 to 16 ounces each) white beans, black beans, kidney beans, and hominy, drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 6 minced garlic cloves
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Heat chili powder, oregano, and cumin in a small skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until spices are warm, darker in color, and fragrant, being careful not to burn them.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in toasted spices, tomatoes, beans, hominy, corn, and 4 cups of water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer chili, partially covered, until flavors are deep, rich, and unified, 30 to 45 minutes, adding water, if necessary, to keep stew moist, but thick. Stir in garlic and chocolate; simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months).