I came up with this one pot meal yesterday. It was one of those “throw everything you can find in a pot and see what happens”-type meals. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This worked. And it’s not only tasty, it’s really really healthy! The combination of beans and brown rice gives you a perfect protein and tons of fiber. Add a bunch of veggies on top of that and you’ve got yourself one big pot of nutrition!
Of course I couldn’t let myself be that healthy. So, I added a side of homemade corn chips that were perfect for scooping up the beans and rice. There are a few nice things about making your own chips. For one thing, you can make a small batch. That way you can satisfy your craving for something salty and greasy without devouring an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting (not that I’ve ever done anything like that). But another reason to fry them up at home is that you know exactly what you’re getting. You choose the tortillas, you choose the oil and you choose the seasonings. No weird ingredients and no weird preservatives–unless, of course, that’s what you really want. I made my chips in one of my favorite kitchen appliances, the Fry-Daddy. What? You don’t have an electric deep-fryer? Well, get one. I don’t fry stuff much but when I do, the electric deep fryer makes it so easy! The one I have is cheap, small, and easy to clean. Really, just go get one. If you do, I’ll give you my recipe for fried artichoke hearts 😉
Back to the chili beans and rice. There’s one change that I will make next time. I didn’t have any corn on hand but I think that this would be perfect with a cup of corn kernels thrown in. As for the beans, use any combination you like. The kidneys and garbanzos were great but if I would have had some black beans on hand, I would have used them too. Same thing with the veggies, I used what I happened to have on hand but feel free to add some others. This is a dish that begs to be experimented with! The only thing to keep in mind is if that you need to increase the liquid if you increase the rice. Other than that, have fun!
Veggie Chili Beans and Rice
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 C. brown rice
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
Fresh ground pepper (a few grinds, depends on your taste)
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
2 C. water
1 t. salt
Get everything organized: Chop all the veggies and throw them in a bowl. Chop garlic and set aside in small bowl of its own. Measure the rice, leave it in the cup. Measure the spices and put together in a small bowl. Throw the beans, tomatoes and water in another bowl with the salt. . Put all your “preparations” near the stove and you’re ready to begin!
Heat 2-3 T. olive oil in a heavy dutch oven over medium heat. Add the veggies (not the garlic) and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and just starting to brown (5-10 minutes). Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds then add the brown rice and seasonings and stir constantly for a minute or two. Next, add the beans, tomatoes and water and stir everything together. Bring mixture to a boil and then turn heat to lowest setting, cover and let simmer for about an hour. Uncover, stir, and enjoy! This is good with grated sharp cheddar on top.
Chili Garlic chips
4 corn tortillas cut into 24 triangles (or as many as you would like!)
Peanut oil for frying
1 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
Using either a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder (only if you have one dedicated to spices!), grind salt, chili powder, cumin and garlic together to make a uniform powder. Set aside.
In a deep fryer or heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry chips in batches, just until starting to brown around the edges. Drain on crumpled paper towels. While still hot, put chips in a large bowl and toss with a few sprinkles of seasoning. You won’t need to use all of it, just add a little at a time until it tastes good to you. Enjoy!