Monday, February 27, 2012

Clean Eating 4-Bean Chili

Clean Eating Chili

Everyone have a good weekend? Mine was pretty busy in general but come Sunday I had the day to make dough and sauce for homemade pizzas, which made the perfect food for Red Carpet watching for the Oscars. Cameron Diaz, Natalie Portman and Gwyneth Paltrow looked stunning, didn't they? I also really liked Penelope Cruz's dress, although I'm not quite sure how she will fare with the Fashion Police. Who was your favorite? The best part was sometime between cooking the sauce and assembling the pizzas, I made chocolate chip cookies which were served warm, right after Billy Crystals opening number. Enough Academy Awards talk, let me tell you about this great, new vegetarian chili recipe I happened upon.

Katie from Keep Calm and Carry On profiled this recipe a couple weeks ago on her blog. If you don't know who she is, you should head on over there and introduce yourself. Then, you should click the follow button so you can stay caught up. She posts about fashion, food, beauty, fitness, and her everyday life. If Katie says this recipe is good, I'm apt to trust her.

I do have a favorite chili recipe, but when you like it as much as I do, it's good to have different options. Vegetarian chili can be bland and boring so I'm always glad to come across a recipe full of flavor. Plus, this recipe calls for a can of chili beans in sauce. Anything made with that is going to be a shoe in with the taste department. In fact, after making this, I decided it would be better if there were two cans. I found an organic brand of beans in chili sauce that I was okay with ingredient wise. If you are concerned, you can always substitute for more kidney beans in it's place. This is a tame chili, so if you prefer your with a little kick and were to add, say, a jalapeno to the mix, wonderful things could happen. I'm just saying.

Clean Eating Chili

Also, I found the quantities called for in the recipe below to be a bit scant. One batch fed our family of five, but there were no leftovers and I couldn't help but notice my crock pot was less full than normal. I'll write the recipe below exactly how I made it (adding in the additional can of chili beans) but If you have a family of six or more (or like leftovers), I'd suggest adding another can of diced tomatoes and one to two more cans of beans and keeping all the other quantities the same. Those changes should feed at least eight, which is more like other chili recipes I've seen. Also, this chili is a bit saucier than it looks in the photo. This is my husbands bowl and he likes to drain the sauce out so he is left with a big bowl of beans which can be easily scooped with a chip.

Clean Eating 4 Bean Chili
adapted from The Gracious Pantry

5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (or rotel)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can chili beans in sauce ( I used organic)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
3 cups vegetable broth

Optional: add 1 more can each of chili beans and diced tomato to make it stretch farther. Add a diced jalapeno if you like more kick.


1. Saute the carrots, onions, and garlic in the olive oil using a medium sized soup pot
2. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for approximately 10-15 mins and remove from heat.
4. Allow to cool and serve.

With chili, it's all about the toppings. Make sure you have your favorites on hand. I like finely diced red onion and cilantro. If I'm splurging, shredded cheddar or sour cream is a must as well. My family also likes to have crunchy corn chips for scooping, but no one complains if I've made cornbread instead.


  1. This chili is right up my alley! I am not a red meat person so my chili is usually chalk full of beans! Looks delicious!

  2. We didn't watch the Oscar's, but who can resist looking at all the pretty dresses online the next day?? :) Love Natalie Portman's polka dot dress.

    Fantastic looking chili! Love the variety of beans and the addition of the green chilies!

  3. Now, this is something we would REALLY love. Definitely going to try it!

  4. In all seriousness: how can it be "clean eating" if you include "chili beans in sauce"?
    You surely can't tell me that the sauce in these cans is not often filled with additives like flavour enhancers, preservatives etc?

  5. Piers, I thought the same thing (this is not my recipe or title, originally) but I did find an organic brand of beans in chili sauce that I was okay with. You can always sub other beans for the chili beans as well. I will note in my recipe that I used the organic, and you you can substitute. Thanks for pointing it out!