“I was in the kitchen on my own making chili/
You came in with an onion and got dicin’/
It seems silly that this chili has two heartbeats in the recipe/
So come over, give your heart to me.”
— “Heartbeat Chilli” by Allo Darlin’ (from last year’s Allo Darlin’)
Heart-healthy veggie chili with heart-shaped tortilla crisps (recipe at bottom of post)
Allo Darlin”s self-titled debut was one of my favorite records of 2010 — it’s indie-pop that’s sweet and earnest enough to make me all warm and fuzzy every time I listen. Elizabeth Morris’s lyrics are unbelievably witty, and she occasionally mixes her own lines with snippits of songs like Weezer’s “El Scorcho” (“Kiss Your Lips”) and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” (“Heartbeat Chilli”). This ukulele-based song is pretty perfect for Valentine’s Day, and this chili is a perfect dish to warm up with in the hell that is mid-February. I made sure the chili had plenty of heart-healthy ingredients like beans and spinach — beans are great for their omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and fiber; spinach for its potassium and fiber, among other things. The heart-shaped tortilla crisps are kinda self-explanatory.
Allo Darlin’ on MySpace
Chili, tortilla crisps
3 carrots, peeled and sliced (I did mine in rounds but you can cut them smaller)
Bell pepper (however much you want; I used about a quarter of a red one because that’s all I had)
1 jalepeno, finely chopped
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 can each of black, cannellini and kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 6-oz. can of tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
4 oz. fresh spinach
salt to taste
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (for garnish, optional)
The veggies here are totally flexible! Add more or less of whatever you want, you can add parsnips, potatoes, etc. You can also add more/less of these spices, or any others you think would be good in it…
• Saute the garlic, carrots, onion, pepper, cumin, paprika, chili powder and curry powder until the veggies are tender.
• Add the can of diced tomatoes and let them simmer for a few minutes.
• Add the three cans of beans and 2 cups veggie broth, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
• Mix in the can of tomato paste to thicken; add more broth if you want the chili to be a little more like a soup.
• Add the fresh spinach.
• Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Add salt or more seasoning as needed.
Note: This makes quite a bit of chili, and I’ve had it last for a good 10 meals! If you don’t think you’ll get through it all at once, freeze it in a plastic container until you’re ready to eat it.
The tortilla crisps
Vegetable or canola oil
• Use a small knife to cut hearts out of the tortilla.
• Heat oil in a frying pan, then fry the hearts until they’re crispy and start to brown.
• Sprinkle with salt.
Serve chili with a dollop of sour cream, topped with the hearts.