Sunday, June 28, 2015

Smoky Black Bean Chili

I know it's summer time and hot, hot, hot! But my oldest daughter has fallen in love with chili since eating it at a friend's house recently.  I don't know about you, but I'm so over the dinner time struggle!!  I know I still have to deal with it for years to come, but hey, if I can find a few more healthy things my kids like that I can add in to the dinner rotation, I'm all over it.  My middle daughter already LOVES this black bean soup, as well as taco soup, so I didn't think it would be hard to get her to try this delicious chili!  Plus, you can totally eat it with chips.  That always gets their attention, haha! To my surprise both girls told me they didn't like the chili, they LOVED it!  I was so happy, I literally jumped up and down with them.  Dinner time was happy time that night.

This chili, like most soups, is open to a little interpretation.  I didn't add a ton of heat because I knew my three littles would be eating most of it.  I wanted to add a couple chipotles in adobo during cooking but I knew it would be too spicy, but feel free to do so.  Instead, I decided to just use the chipotle tabasco sauce on the side instead; my husband loves that stuff anyway and puts it on everything.  Whatever you do, don't leave out the smoked paprika, ginger ale and cocoa powder!! They lend such a unique element to the dish, I think that's why I loved it so much.

This chili would be lovely served with some cornbread, fresh tortillas or even hot cooked rice.

Smoky Black Bean Chili
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can RoTel
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes

sour cream
shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella or my personal favorite smoked cheddar)
diced avocado
chipotle tabasco sauce
tortilla chips

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onion and ground beef and cook until onions are translucent and beef is browned.  Drain off all but a tablespoon or two of the fat.  Add chopped red pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, smoked paprika, and brown sugar.  Sauté 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add ginger ale, tomato sauce, black beans, RoTel and tomatoes to the Dutch oven.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm, with desired garnishes.

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