Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate

I was counting again… one of my nephews had another girl a couple of weeks ago… so how many were they now? Let’s see, I have 19 nephews and nieces, and new baby girl makes 15 grand nephews and nieces! How blessed can a girl be?  Now if they weren’t all spread out on 3 different continents… imagine the fun (or is it noise?).

Photo: Now that's a face to brighten any moment.. sweet Dahlia (Sister Aida's granddaughter)
Dahlia welcomes her new baby sister.

I am having some of the clan and a few friends over for a Lebanese Fest the first week of October, and we’ll celebrate my son’s 17th birthday as well.  A mere 20 – 22 people.  I plan to make a typical mezza table, to hopefully include Tabbouleh, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Kibbe, Kafta, Stuffed squash and Grape leaves, and Falafel as well as the requisite plates of fresh veggies, labneh, pickles and olives.

Mezza dishes
Photo: My personal favorite Lebanese dish : Kebbeh bel Sayniyeh !!!!
Kibbe, courtesy Stephen Masry

It will take Prep work over a 3 day period (I actually made the Kibbe today, and will freeze it before baking the day of the party). Since I will be in DC the week before, I have to make what I can ahead of time. Will post process and photos in progress as I can remember!

In the meantime, I visited one of my fave blogs today, Green Kitchen Stories, and saw this amazing recipe.  I tweaked the ingredients as usual, to fit our Anti-Cancer diet, and I think this could be a winner.

Let me know what you think!

Courtesy of Green Kitchen Stories

Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate

Serves 4-6

  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 fresh organic chili pepper, minced (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 organic bell peppers, red & yellow, finely chopped
  • 1 organic carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 large stalks organic celery with tops, finely chopped
  • 1 c. raw walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 16 oz. cooked mixed beans (adzuki, kidney, black eye, barlotti, garbanzo)
  • 1 15 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. decaf or barley coffee (optional)
  • 2.5 oz. 80% dark chocolate, broken in pieces

For serving

  • 1 bunch organic cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c. plain soy yogurt
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 corn tortillas, toasted

Wash and chop veggies.

Heat oil in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute.

Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili, paprika and oregano, and let fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smells fragrant. Be careful so they don’t burn.

Add bell pepper, carrot, parsnip and celery, let cook for another couple of minutes. Add walnuts, beans, tomatoes, water and salt and let cook for 30-35 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally.

 Add vinegar, coffee and chocolate, stir carefully and let cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt, fresh cilantro, lime and toasted corn tortilla.

 ~ Sahtein!