This is the first recipe we’ve published on this site! Hopefully it will be just one of many more we share with you in the future. The theme of the recipes is going to be healthy, whole food, plant-based meals that are easy to make over a fire or don’t require any cooking at all. We’re basically going to share with you the way we eat every day.
Before we moved off-grid and started this blog, we were actually professional food bloggers for a few years. We also used to own a food truck in Austin, TX. So we like to think we have some qualifications for this.
We decided our first recipe should be something classic that we’ve made a hundred times before, so we figured a three-bean chili cooked over an open fire would be a great way to start.
Chili is often associated with junk food – think chili dogs or chili cheese fries – but this three-bean chili is about as healthy as it gets. We’re certain our favorite doctor, Dr. Michael Greger, would approve of it. It’s 100 percent plant-based, gluten-free, and it only contains natural, whole food ingredients – except for a little bit of vegetable oil, which is totally optional.
One of the ways we like to boost the nutrition of this dish even more, as well as speed up the cooking time, is by soaking our beans overnight until they sprout. This is also optional, and of course you can use canned beans if you prefer the convenience, but we think the soaked and sprouted beans make a better chili.
We also figured that since this is a three-bean chili, why not also make it a three-pepper chili. We used a mix of bell pepper, poblano, and jalapeno. We find that using a variety of peppers is paramount to achieving a flavorful chili. The chilis add heat and that, well, chili flavor; but the bell pepper adds sweetness.
- 1 cup soaked black beans
- 1 cup soaked pinto beans
- 1 cup soaked red beans
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp adobo
- Dash of cinnamon
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 5 cups water
- Place a large cast iron pot, or potjie, with a little bit of oil in it over flaming hot coals.
- Add 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 1 poblano, 1 jalapeno, and 1 bulb of garlic all roughly chopped. Stir and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the spices next. A few teaspoons of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper; a dash of cinnamon, and about 1 tbsp of adobo seasoning. Stir again and sauté for another minute.
- Add 1 cup of tomato juice and stir. Then add black beans, red beans, and pinto beans. About 1 cup of each, all of them soaked and sprouted to speed up cooking time and boost nutrition.
- Add 5 cups of water and a couple teaspoons of liquid smoke. Stir again and cover.
- Add a few more sticks to the fire so the chili rapidly comes to a boil and then let it simmer with the lid on for at least 2 hours. Check on it after 1 hour to make sure it has enough water. You may also need to occasionally add sticks to the fire to keep it going.
- After 2 hours, you can let it cook a little longer if you like, or remove it from the coals and serve. You should also give it a taste to see if it needs a little more salt or spices. We like to top ours with freshly chopped avocado, onions, tomato, and cilantro. We also like to drizzle some spicy mayo on top, which is simply mayo, mustard, and hot sauce whipped together.