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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC



Black and Red Bean Chili with Mexican Chiles

and Baked Tortilla Chips                                                                         


This bean chili is hearty and flavorful with Mexican spices and mild chiles to liven it up.  A nice bowlful makes a satisfying supper, scooped up with baked tortilla chips. Or use it to fill your burritos, tostadas, or tacos. As written, this makes a mild chili. For those of you who enjoy more pizazz, just dial the chiles up according to your tastes. 


Prep time 1 hour                                 

Cooking time ½ hour                              

Serves 3-5


1 large onion, cut in a medium dice

No-sodium vegetable broth or dry vermouth to deglaze skillet

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, Mexican if available

1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, deseeded and destemmed, cut in a medium dice

2-3 poblano peppers or 1 large green bell pepper, deseeded and destemmed, cut in a medium dice

1 28-oz can good quality whole San Marzano tomatoes

1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, freshly roasted and ground

1 ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, freshly roasted and ground

½ teaspoon allspice berries, freshly roasted and ground

¼ teaspoon mild ancho chile, wiped clean, freshly ground, or to taste

¼ teaspoon mild pasilla chile, wiped clean, freshly ground, or to taste

¼ teaspoon mild guajillo chile, wiped clean, freshly ground, or to taste

¼ teaspoon moderate chipotle chile, wiped clean, freshly ground, or to taste

2 teaspoons smoked paprika or ¾ teaspoon liquid smoke

1½ 15.5 ounce cans no-sodium black beans, rinsed well

2 15.5 ounce cans no-sodium red beans, rinsed well

Few grinds of black pepper

2 ears corn, lightly toasted, and stripped off cob

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/3 cup aka (red) miso paste or to taste, diluted slightly with water to blend more easily into the chili


Garnish with sliced scallion, roughly cut or torn cilantro leaves, thinly sliced jalapeño pepper, sliced or mashed avocado, and a dollop of soy yogurt.


1 7-ounce package (10 tortillas) Vista Hermosa or similar fresh organic corn tortillas, found at Whole Foods Market, health food stores, and fine groceries


For extra credit

You can coax more flavor out of the spices and chiles if you heat them briefly on a hot skillet before grinding them into powders. The cumin and coriander burn and become bitter in a flash, so warm them for 20 to 30 seconds --just until your nose perceives their aroma, then transfer immediately off the pan. Press the chiles on the hot skillet with a spatula for about a minute, flip, toasting them just until they are pliant and fragrant. Do not over toast either spices or chiles or they will become bitter. Cool, grind separately, measure.


To roast the corncobs, over a flame lightly toast the corn, turning it until every side shows light very light charring here and there, less than a minute on each side as you rotate the cob. Cool. Rest the cob’s tip on a cutting board, angle slightly, and using a chef knife, cut the kernels off the cob. Set aside for now.


Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add diced onion and dry sauté until the onions have soft lightly caramelized and darkened the pan. Deglaze the pan with just a tablespoon or two of broth or vermouth. Lower heat slightly and stir in the minced garlic, dried oregano. After a minute add the diced fresh peppers and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their purée, breaking up the tomatoes with a potato masher or wooden spoon.  Stir in the ground cumin, coriander, allspice, chile powders, smoked paprika, and black pepper.


Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans now and cook for another 10 minutes for all the flavors to meld. If the mix is dense, dilute with a cup or two of hot water.


Turn off the heat and stir in the corn and lime juice.  If you plan to serve all the chili at once, stir in some of the diluted miso paste. Taste and correct the miso, spices, chiles, lime juice levels to your tastes. If you plan to consume only some of the chili, serve in warmed bowls, and stir in a tablespoon or two or two of diluted miso paste to taste.


Garnish each serving with sliced scallion, cilantro leaves, a jalapeño slice or two, and a dollop of soy yogurt.  Pass around the avocado so guests can add if they like.


Baked Tortilla Chips


Preheat oven to 425°F


Use a knife or a pair of scissors to cut the tortillas into quarters. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven until firm up and turn slightly golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they can easily brown and burn. Remove from oven, and cover with a light cloth to keep warm until serving.

Black and Red Bean Chili with Mexican Chiles and Baked Tortilla Chips

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