Cooking · Soups, Stews and Chili

Black Bean Chili + Accepting Help

It’s been less than two weeks since the Baby was born and already it feels like he’s always been here.

He is truly my Husband’s son as there is major construction going on in the apartment upstairs and he is peacefully slumbering through it. Today is our first check up at the pediatrician and although it’s totally routine, I feel like it is somewhat of a momentous occasion. The doctor comes highly recommended in our community, speaks English, and gives out his cell phone number to patients who might have questions. If you live in Israel you understand that this is a big deal. The Israeli health system, while providing good care at a very low-cost affordable to all, is not known for going above and beyond the call of duty at every turn. That being said, I had some serious complications in my pregnancy and a very difficult labor- and almost every medical professional I encountered was stellar. Here’s hoping!

I have found throughout my pregnancy and now the birth of our little Baby that accepting help when it is needed is key to survival. Up to this point in my life I have stubbornly (what can I say, I’m a Taurus…) refused help, and only yielded when there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Every evening since we got home from the hospital there has been a warm meal delivered to our door from various members of our community. Most of these people I have never met. They just knock on the door, introduce themselves, leave a hearty dish or 5 and quietly sneak out. To any of you who might happen to stumble across my blog: Thank you.

The real heroes however have been my parents. Earlier in my pregnancy I had to be hospitalized due to complications and developed a serious blood clot. Because I was pregnant and couldn’t take the medication in pill form, I needed to receive daily injections in the belly. I do NOT like blood, let alone needles, and couldn’t stand the thought of poking myself every day, especially when I was weakened from months of being sick. And why a shot in the belly when you are pregnant? Don’t we have enough to worry about, and now to think of sticking the baby? So what does my Mother do? She flies to Israel. To give me belly injections. And to nurse me back to health. Of course I didn’t let her give me the injections and insisted that Gil do it. But I did let her buy me bagels, the only thing I could stomach at the time, and lay in bed with me all day. And now, my Mom arrived here about two weeks before I gave birth. Not because she wanted to help me prepare, but because I went into fake labor and she hopped on the next plane available to be here for me. What a surprise it must have been to see me waiting, belly in tow, for her at the airport.
Now both Momma and Daddy are here, and I’m loving every minute.

My Dad has made a huge lifestyle change and is now eating an almost exclusive vegan diet. He looks and feels great, and I’m so proud of him for taking on a diet that will no doubt improve his quality of life exponentially. It has been a slight challenge to find him things to eat, as our diet, and my repertoire of recipes, consists mainly of cheese. One of my favorite recipes, which happens to be vegan, is this Black Bean Chili.

Black Bean Chili
This makes about 4 quarts of Chili, but thank goodness it freezes well. It tastes even better after sitting in the fridge for a few days.

1 pound dried black beans (about 2 cups), rinsed, soaked in 4 quarts of water overnight or 6 hours, drained. You can also used 2 cans of black beans and skip the soaking, just make sure to rinse and drain them first.
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, diced, seeds removed
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large red or yellow onion, diced
1 can of corn, or about 2 cups of frozen corn
1-1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp spicy paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup

Cover dried beans with water and soak overnight. The next day, discard water, and wash beans thoroughly. Place beans in a large saucepan, cover with several inches of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until tender, 1 or 2 hours. Make sure throughout the cooking process that there is always water covering the beans. You may need to add water. Set cooked beans aside. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and diced onion. Cook until fragrant and tender, about 2 minutes. Add the diced green, red and jalapeno peppers, cooking until slightly tender and fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, cooked or canned beans, corn, spices, cocoa powder, vinegar, ketchup and about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. The longer cook time will meld the flavors together, but make sure to add more water if it seems to be getting dry. It should be the consistency of a very thick soup. Take a taste and add more spices as needed. I like to serve this with corn muffins or tortilla chips, shredded cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.


7 thoughts on “Black Bean Chili + Accepting Help

  1. I’m so thrilled for you and your Husband! Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous son, and what a beautiful photo of your mom and your baby! Your parents must be kvelling nonstop.

    I’m looking forward to trying the chili — it looks great, with the inspired addition of cocoa powder. You have so much to do these days — so thanks for continuing to think of us out here in the ether.

  2. Been there, done that on the stomach injections. It becomes a game to see which member of the family I can freak out more.

    The black bean chili looks really good. When it starts getting cold in Ra’anana (three days in January) I’ll make it. I pretty much have all the ingredients on hand.

    I like to serve my chili on coarse whole wheat couscous. Takes the words fusion cuisine to a new level.

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