It’s cold outside, so let’s make chili

Black bean chiliIt started out a mild, sunny day, but by afternoon a brisk wind picked up and continued to blow through town. I guess it is still winter, after all.

I was hungry and cold after a long day at work and a trip to the dog park. So I whipped up this quick black bean chili and rice dish to warm and fill me up. I use ancho chili powder as it is really flavorful and has a mild heat. For the quick version I use canned or leftover black beans.

Start the rice first. I use a rice cooker, with a 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water ratio. Set it and forget it. Do not lift the lid to check on it (even if you make it stovetop – just cover and turn the heat down low after it comes to a boil). Let the steam do its job.

If you need to add salt, butter or other seasonings, add the ingredients in the beginning, or season when rice is done. My mother was Japanese, so I make it the way she made it. Rice and water. That’s it.

IMG_1373Quick black bean ancho chili

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

IMG_13741 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 can black beans (or 2 cups cooked black beans)

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs

Saute the onion and tomatoes in olive oil until cooked through, making a somewhat thick sauce. Add  the chili powder, cumin and lemon juice and let simmer for a few minutes, stirring often. Add black beans, salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly and simmer for a few minutes longer.

Serve over rice, and top with a garnish of avocado slices and/or fresh cilantro sprigs (not pictured – mine was wilted).

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