To Smoky BBQ Chili

2012! It’s here and I am thinking its gonna be a good year. This is my first post for 2012 and you may be thinking we are already 3 weeks into January isn’t this kind of late, but I was in California for a week and with driving to and from (over 4,000 miles round trip – eeeeks) I didn’t have the time to cook/bake nor blog about them. Although explaining the kitchen situation at the church where my group and I stayed in California would make quite an interesting blog – needless to say much improvisation happened due to a lack of kitchen supplies.

My friend Jess shared this recipe with me – its from Oh She Glows which is one of her favorite blogs. Jess made it on New Year’s Day and I ate it so I guess I can say that this was one of my first meals of the year.

It is pretty simple – just some chopping, seasoning, simmering, and voila you have a nice pot of chili that will last you a couple of meals.DSCN0396

I made it this past Monday (MLK day) while I was recuperating from my long journeys. My friend and I had a bowl while watching our guilty pleasure of The Bachelor – keeps the drama out of my life and in the tv set. Served alongside some Trader Joe’s Corn Bread it was a perfect warm meal. The original recipe can be found here – it is very similar to what is below minus a few adaptations that I made.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5 Mini Sweet Peppers, tricolored, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
Paprika (use to own liking)
1/2 cup black eyed peas
1/2 cup kidney beans
3/4 cup black beans
3 cups vegetable broth
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, liquid drained
2 tbsp tomato paste, to thicken
1 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax), to thicken
1 cup frozen corn
2 tbsp your fav BBQ sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
couple handfuls of chopped spinach


Rinse and drain beans before using. In a large pot, add the oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes, until translucent.

Add in the pepper and optional jalapeno and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the spices (cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne) and sauté on low another couple minutes. If you want, you can add just a bit for now and then add the rest to taste after it has cooked.

Add the black beans, kidney beans and black eyed peas, broth, and drained diced tomatoes. Stir well. Now stir in the tomato paste. Simmer on low with the lid ajar for about 2.5 hours, checking often to make sure it doesn’t dry out. If it does, add a bit more broth to thin out.

About 15 minutes before it’s done cooking, stir in the chia seeds, corn, and chopped greens. The chia helps thicken the chili. Also stir in the BBQ sauce, starting with 1 tbsp at a time and tasting as you go. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be made 2-3 days in advance and frozen if preferred.



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