Chorizo and Black Bean Chili

LastofFeb 040Homemade chili is comfort food.  Our bunch really likes cornbread and chili, and chili  corn chips, and cheese with a sprinkle of onions is also a favored meal on cold nights.  Now we have a new favorite competing for top recipe.  Chorizo and black beans add a new taste twist that keeps people coming back for seconds. This is also a healthier version than many I have previously used.  I like to make my own chorizo, but you should be able to find prepared chorizo in your supermarket. The following is adapted from recipes at

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

Makes 8 servings

1 pound bulk chorizo sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes. (I like Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes)  undrained
1 cup water
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Crumbled white Mexican cheese , or shredded Monterey Jack

Brown sausage in large pan or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in tomatoes, water, beans, chiles, chili powder and cumin. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Serve with cheese and fresh chopped cilantro.

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I have made this in my slow cooker by browning sausage, then layering in other ingredients and cooking on high for 3 hours.


Black Bean Chalupas

Our family loves Mexican food.  Along with Enchildadas Verde, Cheese Enchiladas, Fish and Shrimp Tacos, and Chiles Rellenos, we include Chalupas among our favorites.  These Black Bean Chalupas are so easy to make, look beautiful on your plate, taste fresh and delicious, and are full of healthy fresh vegetables.

Black Bean Chalupas

4 corn tostadas.

1 whole garlic pod

1 can seasoned smashed black beans

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups finely shredded romaine or other lettuce

1 tomato, diced

4 green onions, sliced

1 red and 1 orange sweet pepper, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeds removed and sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

vinegar for sprinkling on top

First, roast garlic by wrapping entire pod in aluminum foil and placing in 400 degree oven until pods soften, about 20 minutes.  Remove garlic and cool slightly. While garlic is roasting, prepare vegetables and set aside until ready to assemble chalupas.

 Reduce oven heat to 375, place tostados on baking sheet to heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on. Heat black beans with a dash of olive oil , stirring as they warm.

Assembly:  Place tostados on plate and squeeze enough garlic out of cloves to spread on top of each.  Then spread about 1/4 cup of the smashed beans.  Next, add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. To finish, divide the vegetables and cilantro among the four tostadas and sprinkle with a few drops of vinegar.  I like flavored vinegars, and often use sherry vinegar.