I’ve found that some basic planning and a few tricks of the trade can make cooking at home a fun experience that brings the family closer together while inspiring a healthier lifestyle. Your kids can help with the chopping of peppers and onions. Once your vegetables are chopped, the rest is simple. The recipe calls for canned beans, but you can also use dried beans. Kids usually get excited about seeing the beans go from one state to another overnight. You can also “dress up” the recipe by putting out an array of toppings when you serve — kids love choice. Add cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa… you name it. It can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. — Bill Telepan, owner of Telepan restaurant and executive chef of Wellness in the Schools (WITS), a non-profit organization dedicated to making school food healthy.
- 2 Ounces vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- 1 green bell pepper, small dice
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 Ounces tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomato
- 3 14-ounce cans beans (can be black, kidney, chickpeas), drain about half of the liquid
Add the oil to a pot set over medium heat, add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, and a pinch of salt. Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste, and mix in well.
Add the tomatoes and a half a can of water, and a simmer until thick, about 20 minutes.
Add the beans and simmer to heat through, 5 to 7 minutes.