Canned beans are my pantry must-have. They have been my dessert island life saver when it comes to making last minute meals and/or bulking up meals. You know, those moments when you have a surprise guest (or guests) and it’s rude to turn them away during meal times; a day before your grocery shopping day; when your spouse forgot to tell you that one of the invited guest to your dinner party is a vegetarian… etc.
My favourite way of cooking canned beans has been “currying” them. Regardless whether they are red beans, chickpeas or cannellini beans, they all are “curry material”. Just toss them with sautéed chopped onion, garlic-ginger paste, curry spices, tomato paste and some water, with a side of rice or bread or wrap, your meal is almost done. If curry isn’t your thing, then switch up the curry spices to say, Italian spices or paprika. Crack some eggs over the beans and you have got yourself a café-style breakfast. Seriously, how versatile canned beans are eh?
If you haven’t noticed, I have been exploring Mexican cuisines (case in point here and here). The Old El Paso Fajitas spice mix will always have a special place in my heart pantry but I’m trying not to make everything with it. That’d make a very unexciting food blog, I reckon.
Then chipotle peppers in adobo sauce entered my life. I’ve been finding ways of incorporating the smoky and hot chipotle peppers in my dishes ever since the discovery. Oh yeah, you can see a pattern here! First comes my obsession with kale and now chipotle peppers, I might as well combine them together.
And guess what, that’s what I did.
(For those who live in Orange, you can find it in the Asian sauces section in the Harris Farm Market.)
Kale & Bean Chili
What you’ll need to make 4 generous servings:-
- Olive oil
- 1 large red onion, peeled & diced
- 4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 3/4 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 5 leaves of kale (used the cavolo nero variety), finely sliced
- 700g passata* (Italian tomato cooking sauce )
- 1 – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, deseeded and finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- A handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
*Passata is available in all major supermarkets.
Add a little olive oil in a large pan and saute onion until translucent. Add garlic, oregano and cumin powder and saute until aromatic over low heat. Add chickpeas, beans and kale and mix to combine with the onion mixture. Pour in passata and chopped chipotle peppers and mix to combine all the ingredients. With a lid on simmer the beans for 10 minute over low-medium heat. Add salt to taste and simmer for another minute or two. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving. Best eaten with brown rice and garlicky yoghurt.