School is in session here, but the sun is still shining. It’s still summer, but with 9 AM school bells ringing, it really doesn’t feel like it anymore. This Summer Vegetable Black Bean Chili is my response to the seasonal confusion.
Chili, to me is an Autumn/Winter meal. Zucchini, Eggplant, Corn, and Tomatoes, however, are summer foods and are at their peak in the garden right now. So, to compromise, we are having Summer Vegetable Black Bean Chili. It totally works!
What hasn’t been working, however, are my efforts to convince the kids that it really is bed time. Yes, the sun is still shining. Yes, it’s still warm outside and the backyard is calling you to come play. But, the alarm goes off far too early in the morning, pulling us out of our beds and into the school/carpool routine before our eyes are fully open. So, yes, it really is bed time.
I’m not convincing anyone. Not even myself, which may explain why the alarm’s snooze button has been working overtime every morning this week and we’ve been doing the woke-up-late-get-dressed-run-out-the-door morning scramble. Not my best mom move.
As it currently stands, breakfasts this week are a jar of Aimee’s fast and easy Chia Pudding eaten on the run (with raspberries this morning). I’ll make up for the harried meal by having dinner on the table at the end of the day. Yes, we’ll sit down for dinner at least and savor the flavors of summer before I attempt to rush everyone off to bed.
And tonight, after I’ve satisfied everyone’s tummies with a bowl of Summer Vegetable Black Bean Chili, I plan to lure them into bed with a really good book. I’m thinking Judy Blume should do the trick quite well. Superfudge is going to be my secret bed time weapon. Wish me luck!
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes and salted
- 2 cups diced zucchini and summer squash, baby varieties work well
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- approximately ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 small bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish
- 1 cup sour cream, plain yogurt, or creme fraiche, for garnish
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the eggplant and squash in batches and saute for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened, adding olive oil as needed. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked squash/eggplant to a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add a couple more tablespoons olive oil and saute the onion, peppers, jalapeno, and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and spices to the pan with onion mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add beans and corn kernels and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked squash and eggplant and simmer for 10 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve with garnishes.