Burning out

… is actually a lot like black bean chili.

I don’t know what’s up with me, but I’ve slept 10+ hours EVERY night since I got home. Really, that’s not normal for me… and all summer, I’ve had this really cool thing going on where right after a workout, I’m ready to crawl into bed. 1 + 2 = hey dummy, you’re still burnt out.

Well, no rest for the wicked—I have go-mode scheduled for September, when the hilarity and brutality ramps up again. So I’ll sleep while I can, and then I know that my hard-core ability to go till it hurts will kick in. Did I mention that I’m stressed? 😀 But to protect my time-strapped self from that time and ensure that I’ll eat right, even if I’m not sleeping enough, I’m going hard in the kitchen right now.

Tonight, it was my old friend, black bean chili. I call this “chili for people who don’t like chili”, of which I am one. Red kidney beans and soupy ground beef are a bit of a turn off, but this recipe is neither soupy nor features red kidneys, so… yay! I’d like to give credit for where it came from, but I’m just not sure. It’s written on the back of an envelope and included in my “best of” binder…
Black Bean Chili


• 3 540-ml cans of black beans (or about 6 cups, prepared)
• 1 398-ml can of diced tomatoes (unsalted!)
• 3 chipotle peppers plus the adobo sauce they come in
• 2 tbsp EVOO
• 1 lb (or so…) extra lean ground beef (organic!)
• kosher salt
• 1/2 red onion, diced
• 2 red bell peppers, chopped in large-ish pieces
• 1 tbsp chili powder
• 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
• juice of 1 lime
• avocado slices (or guac, if you’ve got some)

How to

• mix one can of beans (~2 cups) with the tomatoes, chipotle and adobo sauce in a medium bowl and blitz with a hand blender (or just do it in a blender or food processor). Whir it till it’s smooth, and set it aside.
• heat the oil in a Dutch oven or similarly heavy pot (or not, and risk burny spots like I do) over medium-high heat, adding the beef and 1/2 tsp salt to season it. Cook until it loses its raw colour (~3 minutes).
• transfer the beef to a plate using a slotted spoon.
• reduce the heat to medium and put the onion and red peppers into the remaining juices in the pot (add a splash more oil if it’s too dry); cook until the onion browns and begins to soften, and then add the chili powder and cumin and cook (stirring) for about 20 seconds.
• return the beef to the pot, adding the rest of the beans and the bean mixture and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often (which is less important if you have a pot that wasn’t bought for $18 at Safeway…).
• add the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, and you’re ready to serve at this point. If you like a looser chili, add some water to thin it.

I like to serve it on top of a bed of spinach, and top it with avocado slices or guacamole. Mmmmmm! Who knew burn out could be this good? 😀