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My BIG FAT Grain Free Life: Black Bean Chili

Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Bean Chili

This black bean chili is hearty and flavorful without being too spicy.  It's also easy to prepare and can be changed around to suit your tastes.  For instance, should you prefer a vegetarian version, just forgo the meat and, if you like, add chopped bell peppers, celery and carrots in its place.  Back in our pre-grain-free days, I sliced fresh corn off the cob and added it to this recipe.  Truth be told - this time around we didn't even miss it.  

Black beans are obviously the staple in this chili.  However, not everyone can digest this bean, especially during an episode of intestinal inflammation.  We have strictly been using white navy beans for the last 6-8 months, as they are easier to digest.  Since we have seen such an improvement in our daughter, I thought it time to venture out and try black beans.  She tolerated them beautifully but waiting until she was out of intestinal distress and then soaking the beans 24 hours was essential.  If you are unsure of your ability to handle them, just substitute cooked white navy beans for safety.

This past weekend this recipe won a chili cook off at our church's fall festival.  I had no idea it was a contest but just thought we were signing up to add a pot of chili to the dinner...true story!  And to our friend, Andy, who is "not competitive" - there's always next year.  ;^) 

I love this chili topped with scallions, chopped avocado and SCD yogurt.  Though SCD yogurt contains no lactose and the casein is denatured, not everyone can tolerate it, especially at first (my daughter) but if you can (I do fine on it), it's a delicious substitute for sour cream.  I hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Chili


2 (14 oz.) packages black beans, picked over and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peel removed

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 lb. ground beef (hormone free is always best)
1 lb. Italian chicken sausage, casing removed (I use Publix Greenwise brand) 

Spice Blend:
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 recipes roasted tomatoes, diced (optional but highly recommended)
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (I love San Marzano if possible)
6-8 cups chicken broth (homemade or Imagine brand) or water


Prepare beans:  Soak beans 24 hours covered in water by a few inches.  Drain, then place in large pot and cover with fresh water by another few inches.  Drop in the smashed garlic.  Bring beans to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  Cook 2-3 hours or until beans are soft.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the same stock pot the beans were cooked in (why wash another pot?), to medium.  Add olive oil, then saute diced onion until soft.  

Meanwhile, mix the spice blend together in a small bowl.

Add ground beef and sausage to the onion and stir, breaking sausage apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Add spice blend and stir for about 30 seconds.

Add cooked beans, roasted tomatoes, crushed toamtoes and chicken broth or water and stir to combine.  Simmer on low at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. 

Taste and adjust seasonings.  This chili freezes well.

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