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Jimtown's Three-Bean Vegetable Chili

Jimtown's Three-Bean Vegetable Chili 8.000

The Washington Post

May 29, 2013

This deeply flavored dish has been on the menu for 22 years at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, Calif. Takoma Park resident Robin Mize makes the chili gluten-free by using quinoa instead of the medium or coarse bulgur called for in the original recipe.

You can tell at a glance: It's a long ingredient list. But the preparation is easy. The recipe uses a lot of chili powder, so be sure to choose a mild variety.

Make Ahead: The quinoa needs to soak for 30 minutes. The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Servings: 8 - 10
  • 3/4 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (4 cups)
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mild red chili powder (not a blend)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin, preferably freshly ground
  • 3 tablespoons dried mexican oregano, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 28 ounces canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded then cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 ounces fresh green beans (trimmed), cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen/defrosted corn kernels (from 2 ears)
  • 15 ounces canned no-salt-added dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounces canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small zucchini, coarsely shredded, for garnish
  • 3 medium tomatoes, hulled, seeded and coarsely chopped, for garnish
  • 6 to 7 scallions (white and light-green parts), cut into thin slices, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)


Combine the quinoa and orange juice in a medium bowl; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened and lightly colored.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and cinnamon; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often so the spices do not scorch.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, breaking up the fruit with your fingers as you work. Stir in the water, broth and 1 tablespoon of the salt; increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil, skimming any foam from the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the red bell peppers and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Meanwhile, fill a mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt and the green beans; cook for about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain the beans and place them in the ice-water bath until thoroughly cooled, then drain.

Stir the quinoa with its orange juice into the onion-tomato mixture; cook for about 25 minutes, during which time the mixture will thicken. Stir in the cooked green beans, corn, kidney beans and chickpeas; when they have warmed through, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Divide among individual bowls. Top with the zucchini, tomatoes, scallions and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Jimtown Store Cookbook: Recipes From Sonoma County's Favorite Country Market," by Carrie Brown and John Werner with Michael McLaughlin (HarperCollins, 2002).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 10): 320

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 330mg 14%

Total Carbohydrates: 49g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%

Sugar: 11g

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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