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Chili with Black Beans, Mustard Greens and Kale

Courtesy of Mindy Nunez Airhart

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1-2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 tbsp. minced garlic

3 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp. chili powder

salt and pepper

3-5 cups chopped greens (or other vegetables), such as mustard greens and/or kale

1 can corn kernels

3 cups chopped tomatoes (or 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice)

6 cups chicken stock

1-2 cans black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans

1/2 cup cilantro or green onions for garnish


1. Blanching the greens is an optional step, but it tames their bitter flavor. To blanch mustard greens or kale, first use a knife to separate the leaves from any tough stems. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add 1.5 teaspoons salt. Add enough greens to fill the pot, stir until wilted (you may have to blanch your greens in multiple batches if you have a large volume). Cover and cook about 6-8 minutes until the greens are tender. Drain into a colander, then rinse the greens with cold water to stop cooking. Wring out as much water from the greens as you can, then chop into bite-size shreds on a large cutting board. Set aside. 


2. In the same Dutch oven, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and saute. After 3 minutes, add the garlic and continue to saute. Stir in the tomtato paste and chili powder. Add salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes. 


3. Add the vegetables, including the blanched greens, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat so that the mixture bubbles steadily. Cook until veggies are tender and mixture is thickened, 15-20 minutes. 


4. Add the beans and more liquid if the chili looks dry. Simmer until beans are heated through, at least 5 minutes, and longer if you desire the flavors to meld together. Garnish with the cilantro or green onions. 


Optional: you may add lean ground meat to the recipe, simply cook the meat in the olive oil before adding the onion and bell pepper. Proceed with recipe. 



Loosely adapted from Mark Bittman, "The Food Matters Cookbook".

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