Yesterday I woke up to a brisk morning – temperature in the high 40′s – and I was elated. Fall! I feel it in the air! I pulled on a pair of warm socks and one of my favorite sweatshirts and cuddled up with the husband and cats on the sofa while sipping hot coffee. A perfect morning. The only thing that could make it more complete was to pull the pressure cooker out of the cupboard and make my first chili of the season. So I did just that.
Over the weekend I made a quick dash through Whole Foods and succumbed to an impulse purchase. A bag of pretty, pinkish beans grabbed my eye and somehow the legumes landed in my cart – Anasazi beans, to be specific. Anasazi Indians lived in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada. These heirloom beans were cultivated by the Anasazis and are similar to pinto beans.
The package indicated that the legumes are slightly sweet, which made me think a spicy pairing could be just right. I did what I always do – grab whatever produce I saw on the counter and refrigerator and started slicing and dicing.
A quick look in the spice drawer, to find the right seasonings for the chopped bowl of veggies destined for the pressure cooker, and I was ready to go!
Anasazi Bean & Potato Chili
- 12 ounces (about 2 cups) dry Anasazi beans (pinto or cranberry beans can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 3/4 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup yellow pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups fingerling potatoes, diced
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Soak beans for 2 – 4 hours (optional), rinse well and drain.
- Heat avocado oil in the pressure cooker, uncovered, on medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, oregano, chili pepper and red pepper flakes – sauteing for a minute or so.
- Add pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, salt, bay leaves, vegetable broth, and beans. Stir, and cover pressure cooker, locking the lid in place.
- Bring to pressure, then reduce heat and cook at low pressure (the giggly top will rock gently) for 20 minutes.
- Remove pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
- Remove the lid from the pressure cooker, away from you.
- Stir in the lemon juice and do a taste test. Add more salt, if desired (I added another 1/4 teaspoon because I used homemade vegetable broth with no-added salt). If the beans are not done enough simply simmer, uncovered, until cooked through.
I really enjoyed this dish. The beans are thick and grabbed the flavor of the seasonings. Great on its own, it’s also fantastic over a bed of raw leafy greens – one of my favorite ways to eat chili and stew – or as a chili burger:
I pan-fried a Sprout Burger and sautéed spinach, covered it in Anasazi Bean & Potato Chili, and topped it all off with raw tomato and onion (diced) and vegan sour cream. Mmm Mmm.
Do you have a favorite heirloom bean?