DSC_0712 (2)I grew up in Oklahoma, which is probably why I say “yes, please” to anything Tex-Mex.

One of the first cookbooks I ever bought was the El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook. I’ve been working on my own versions of two recipes from that book – one for guacamole, the other for chili.

Here’s my go-to chili recipe that is super thick, filling and hearty: great for a crowd and leftovers. I serve it with a bunch of toppings and let each person do it up their own way.

I used to use canned beans, but have learned to soak them overnight for a more authentic, non-mushy al dente texture, and one that’s better for you overall. Un-soaked and un-germinated beans can irritate the digestive tract, leading to a variety of gut-related health conditions. And since we want to take care of our guts, soaking beans  overnight or for just 12 hours is no big deal.

DSC_0658-1024x795As Jacqueline at deeprootsathome.com puts it: “I love Mexican food but have learned to avoid Mexican restaurants for this reason. They don’t soak their beans before cooking them! Those ‘anti-nutrients’ such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are going to be in your gut causing gas and whatever other digestive issues happen when you eat something that isn’t particularly digestible. Pretty much defeats the purpose of trying to eat healthy!” Well said.

Soaking beans with an acid medium (vinegar, yogurt or lemon juice) helps to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors (phytates), making them more digestible and nutrient-dense. Soaking them in warm water makes them swell and begin the slow process of sprouting which makes the nutrients available.

Makes 3.5 quarts, serves 12.

Chili My Way - Easy, Tasty, Thick & Hearty
Print Recipe
Try this easy chili that's tasty, thick and hearty - because black and kidney beans are soaked properly, it won't bother your gut!
Servings Prep Time
12 hearty bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 hearty bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Chili My Way - Easy, Tasty, Thick & Hearty
Print Recipe
Try this easy chili that's tasty, thick and hearty - because black and kidney beans are soaked properly, it won't bother your gut!
Servings Prep Time
12 hearty bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
12 hearty bowls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Ingredients
For the chili:
Servings: hearty bowls
Instructions
  1. You need 2 large pots, bowls or containers. Rinse black beans thoroughly with cold water. Use your fingers and really scrub them together so they're clean. Sort, discard anything you don't like. Put the black beans into a pot and cover them with 6 cups of warm water. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then soak for 24 hours.
  2. Kidney beans: repeat the process with the kidney beans: rinse thoroughly and scrub with your fingers, sort and discard anything you don't like. Put them into a separate pot, add 6 cups of warm water, and soak for 12 hours.
  3. Roast the red pepper: Turn your oven to broil, put the red pepper on the rack. Let it char, turning with tongs until blackened. Remove from oven, put in a bowl and cover. Let it cool, then remove the blackened skin and seeds with your fingers. Chop and set aside.
  4. Make the chili: Warm the avocado or olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook, covered, stirring one or twice, for 15 minutes. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until it is no longer pink. Add the chili powder blend and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beef broth, raise the heat, and bring the chili to a boil. Lower the heat, partially cover, and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes. The chili will be very thick.
  5. Stir in the beans, vinegar, and chopped red bell pepper. Let the chili simmer for 2 hours so the beans cook slowly. The chili is done when you like the texture of the beans. Adjust the seasoning, add the salt. Turn up the heat before serving until heated through and steaming. Serve with avocado slices to balance out the protein and carbs. All other toppings are optional.
  6. The chili can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Cool it completely and refrigerate it, covered. Rewarm it over low heat, thinning with water if necessary and stirring often.
  7. Nutritional Information:
Recipe Notes

Sources:

This recipe was inspired by Norma’s Original Recipe Quick ‘N’ Easy Chili from the El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook, 1992.

Deeprootsathome.com

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