CEiMB: Three Bean Chili

One week later, have we all recovered from Thanksgiving? I’ve seen tons of posts about creative alternatives for reinventing those leftovers: soups, stews, casseroles, sandwiches, shepherd’s pie, etc. All kinds of great ideas! I tend to eat my leftovers as they are; I’m not too finicky about that, but I get tired of eating the same thing after a couple days no matter what new form it may have taken. By Saturday, I was pretty much over Thanksgiving and all its foods. What about you – what was your favorite leftover reincarnation and how long did they last?

Now we all have our eyes set towards Chrismakwanzika which inevitably, for me, means COOKIES! Since we all know I don’t bake, I am happily accepting any and all cookie donations :)

But there are still a few weeks separating us from our day of cookies, and these weeks will both fly by and drag on endlessly. For me, it seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are the busiest of the year. So much to get done, so many things to do, people to see, etc. It’s a happy time, but it’s also easy to feel stressed. And cold. So when you finally stumble in your front door at the end of a long, frosty day, this week’s CEiMB recipe, Three Bean Chili, is the kind of dish you want to welcome you home.

In the past, when I’ve made chili, it has always included a packet of store-bought seasoning. It’s just easy so I never even thought to make it “from scratch”. I love beans; I know some people have a hard time enjoying beans, but I love all of them. I was very excited to try a trio of legumes in this Ellie recipe, and this recipe did not disappoint. I added some extra cumin and red pepper to taste because I felt the recipe as-written was a little flat, but after a few tweaks, it was great. I might try less meat or even making this a vegetarian chili in the future – I just didn’t feel the ground chicken added anything substantial. Even though Ryan doesn’t eat chili (or beans!), I made the full batch and froze half of it for later. I’m very much looking forward to another cold night at home alone with my chili!

Now, a note about canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Any time I have a recipe that calls for this, I end up with approximately 9/10ths of the can left. So this time I decided to dump the whole can – chipotles and sauce – into the food processor. I let it go until it was pureed into a sauce. Then I filled an ice cube mold with about 2 tsp each. This way, when I need it again, just pop out one of the blossoms (it’s a flower shaped mold haha), and there we go. It was a genius plan. The only unexpected complication was when Ryan came home from work and wondered what I had in the freezer. It just looks dark so I think he was hoping for chocolate. Long story short, he very nearly popped the whole thing in his mouth, but I managed to convince him to try just a small bit first. It would not have been nearly as hysterical had he put the whole thing in his mouth as I’m sure that would have required a hospital visit.

Three Bean Chili

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 pound lean ground chicken
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 Tbsp canned chipotle pepper puree
1/2 tsp dried oregano
15 oz canned black beans, reduced sodium
15 oz canned kidney beans, reduced sodium
15 oz canned pinto beans, reduced sodium

Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.

Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes.

Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 187
8 servings | 5 POINTS


December 3, 2009. recipes.


  1. Elina replied:

    I plopped my chili in the slow cooker this morning and am now realizing that I forgot one can of beans. Oh well. I’m sure it will still be good :)
    My favorite way to eat leftovers was a sandwich with turkey, cranberry sauce and laughing cow cheese. I loved it so much the first time, I bought deli turkey to recreate this sandwich again yesterday! :D
    I’m currently accepting cookie donations too ;)

  2. Joanne replied:

    Great idea about processing and then freezing the left over chipotles. I’ve tossed out 2 cans so far and was wondering if this would be my third. I’m SO glad you offered such a good idea!
    This recipe was good although not my favorite chili.
    Photo looks so yummy with the sourcream on top.

  3. teaandscones replied:

    This was pretty good. And my first chili from scratch too. Definitely a keeper. Like the cheese on top.

  4. Sarah Caron replied:

    Yum, sounds great! And what a fantastic idea for the chipotles. I can never seem to use a whole can at once. Can anyone? I am going to try that!

  5. Rachel replied:

    Hey Liz, I saw on the CEiMB comments that you’re not feeling well. I hope you get better soon!

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