I’ve recently developed a dinnertime problem that will surprise friends and family that I have known me for a long time: I haven’t had time to cook as much as I’d like to because I’m too busy exercising. I know.

I’m the girl who grew up hating gym so much that she joined the tennis team just to get out of it; the girl who managed to fall in love with a form of dance where you only move half of your body. I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’m suddenly obsessed with yoga and hulafit. Which means that, two nights a week for the past few months, I haven’t gotten home until 8:30. And when I do get home, I’m starving and don’t want to spend time actually cooking.

After a few weeks of alternating between pizza, Chipotle, and Chinese take out after my classes, I realized I needed to come up with a better solution.

Remembering my mom’s dinner solution for nights when I hate late dance practices through out high school, I dragged out the ole’ crockpot and made a hearty vegetarian chili. Then I spooned it over baked waffle fries and topped it with cheese.

After all, an hour of hula hooping can burn upwards of 500 calories. After that, I deserve a few fries.


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Three Bean Crockpot Chili

Yields 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

With only three steps this may be one of the easiest chilis that I’ve made, but it isn’t lacking in flavor: Crimini mushrooms add an earthy note, chipotles in adobo and fire roasted tomatoes add a smokey complexity, and carrots add a touch of unexpected sweetness. It makes delicious chili cheese fries, but it’s also great over rice, scooped up with baked tortilla chips, or on its own.

Like most chilis, this one is best after it’s had a chance for the flavors to meld in the fridge. I cook it in the crock pot overnight (it thickens while I get ready for work) and then reheat it at dinner time.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15.5 oz) Black Beans, drained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) Pinto Beans, drained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 ounces Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper plus 1 Tablespoon Adobo
  • 2 Anaheim Peppers, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients except corn starch in crock pot.
  2. Cook covered on low heat for 8 hours.
  3. Spoon about a quarter cup of cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved cooking liquid until it is smooth, then stir it back  into the pot. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the chili has thickened.

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