Bean Stews and Chilis
Here’s a great main dish option for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s somewhat like chili, though more about the squash than beans. In Native American mythology, squash, corn, and beans are known as of the “three sisters” — the very crops that the harvest festival of Thanksgiving is meant to celebrate! If you bake your pumpkin or squash a day ahead, the stew will come together in a snap. And if you’re not accustomed to dealing with winter squash, or don’t have the time, see the shortcut following the recipe. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet.
Kind of a simplified chili, here’s a hearty stew featuring beans and corn. If your beans are cooked, or you’re using canned, this comes together very quickly when you want a cool-weather dinner in a hurry. Serve with a simply prepared grain like quinoa, rice, or couscous and a big salad. more→
While this bakes, you will be enchanted with the aromatic mingling of nutty coconut sauce infused with lime, ginger, and curry. It is a deeply flavorful dish that is also almost effortless in preparation. Everything comes together lickety-split and you have an exotic bean entrée to serve over rice. Recipe reprinted from Let Them Eat Vegan* by Dreena Burton (Da Capo, ©2012), by permission. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.
Though inspired by Brazil’s famous national dish (feijoada), this stew doesn’t claim to be authentic, but it is abundant with nourishing ingredients. I love the contrast of the black beans and sweet potatoes, both flavor-wise and visually. Serve with steamed fresh greens and a tropical fruit salad or orange slices, as shown here. See the comments by a Brazilian reader, below, on how this differs from the national dish. more→
This classic recipe is easy and quick to prepare using good quality canned chickpeas (as we more commonly refer to garbanzos). Serve with fresh bread and a simple homemade coleslaw. Adapted fromVegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Photos by Rachael Braun. more→
Cincinnati chili is similar to a regular meaty chili except it has unusual spices that you see more in pumpkin pie than an all-American stew. This vegan version is made in a slow cooker. Recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker* by Kathy Hester, reprinted by permission. more→
When you need a heaping helping of something fast, inexpensive, and hearty, I can think of few things that fit these criteria better than a big pot of chili. Of course, bean chilies—without the carne—have been a have become a vegetarian standard; this is the recipe I’ve been making for years. Simple, hearty, and warming, this is a great choice for casual winter parties like Super Bowl Sunday, or for everyday meals. If you need fewer servings, cut the recipe in half, or then again, make the whole quantity, and freeze half to enjoy in the near future. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen; photo by Susan Voisin.
Here’s an offbeat chili and a great introduction to whole hominy, if you’ve never tried it before. It’s easy to find—you’ll likely be able to get it in any supermarket shelved right near canned corn. Hominy is dried corn whose hull has been soaked off. Reconstituted, it’s whole hominy; ground, it becomes hominy grits. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. more→