CJOB What’s for Dinner – Spicy 3 Bean Chili

January 23, 2013

What’s for dinner?

We all know the tune, beans, beans, the musical fruit, more you eat them, the more you toot! I don’t really know where original song came from but it’s not true.

Beans and nutrition

Dietitians and nutritionists will confirm this.  Pulses are a powerhouse food.  They are high in protein, low in fat, full of fibre and they are economical. It’s all that fibre that can get you tooting but only at the beginning.  If you don’t already have a high fibre diet, Health Canada recommends 25-30 grams of fibre per day.  If you currently don’t eat a high fibre diet you might start tooting so start slow and make sure to drink lots of water.  Your body will adjust to all that fibre and will love it.

Locally grown in Manitoba

LentilsBeans, lentils and dried peas are all part of the legume family and in Manitoba we growing more and more pulses each year.

This is one of my go to dinner recipes.  It’s easy to make, economical and healthy.  I use canned beans.  You can use dried but it`s one of those recipes that I always have the canned goods in my pantry.  The trick with all canned beans and lentils is to make sure to drain and rinse the beans well to remove the salt.  I also look to purchase no salt added canned tomatoes.

The roux is back!

Last week, I mentioned a roux and we are using it again to help thicken the chili.  If you want this to be a gluten free recipe, substitute all-purpose flour for an all-purpose gluten free flour.

Leftover Chili

We all know that Chili is better on day 2 but if you still have leftovers you can freeze for a quick ready to go meal that you can use on a busy night. Or as Jenn shared on air in CJOB What’s for dinner – Pizza with Fiona & Derek you can spread Chili on homemade pizza dough, top with a bit of cheese and you have a brand new meal.

Chili toppings:

Sweet Bell PeppersLike the pizza bar, you can have a chili bar with all the toppings for your family or guest.

  • diced avocado
  • green onions
  • diced white onions
  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • olive
  • diced red, green, yellow or orange pepper
  • diced dill pickles

Grocery List:

Fruits & Vegetables Starch Dairy Herbs & Spices Pantry Items
1 onion Chili powder Canola oil
2 garlic cloves Ground cumin All-purpose flour
3 jalapeno peppers 1-28 oz can of tomatoes with juice
Fresh cilantro 1-19 oz can of Romano beans
1-19 oz can of Red Kidney beans
1-19 oz can of White Kidney beans


Eat Well…Ellen 

Spicy Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

Spicy Three Bean Vegetarian Chili


  • 1 – 3 Tbsp canola oil (15 – 45 mL)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 )
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (2 )
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (60 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (30 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin (15 mL)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (2 mL)
  • 1/2 cup water (125 mL)
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes with juice (1 (828 mL) can)
  • 1 (19 oz) can Romano beans, drained and rinsed (1 (540 mL) can)
  • 1 (19 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (1 (540 mL) can)
  • 1 (19 oz) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (1 (540 mL) can)
  • 1 bay leaf (1 )
  • 1 (3.9 oz) can diced green chilies (or 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and
  • chopped), optional (1 (114 mL) can)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (125 mL)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix flour with chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper. Stir into pan and continue cooking, stirring gently, for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly stir in water and juice from tomatoes. Continue stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Then, add tomatoes and beans. Break up tomatoes with a fork. Stir in bay leaf and chilies. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in cilantro.

About the Author



Ellen is two things: bossy and a foodie. She loves to tell everyone why they should cook with canola oil by indulging in her love of cooking and teaching. Follow Ellen on twitter @ellencanola.

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