Saturday, January 17, 2009

Heirloom Bean, Red Russian Kale and Wheat Berry Chili

There's a recurring annoyance in my daily life, and I feel the need to publicly vent. By some strange happenstance, Avril Lavigne and I have some physical similarities. Long blonde hair, petite, obnoxiously sexy in a pair of aviator shades and grey skinny get the picture. Almost every day, someone calls me "Avril" or I overhear someone whisper to their friend "Dude...she looks just like Avril Lavigne!". Well, let me tell you something, dude. Avril stole my style. I was rocking long blonde hair and aviator shades from Walgreens back in '97. Observe:

See Avril? I, too, can glow in the sunshine at the beach. Sans make-up. So there.

I know exactly how this happened. Someone from Arista Records fashion scouting team must have made a pit stop at Page's New Ages Diner in Youngstown. They spotted me at the table, passed out on my breakfast plate as my friends put french fries in my ears and thought, "Now she is cool."

Ok...let's get serious now. I admit that with most of my recipes, I always wonder "why I gotta go and make things so complicated?". I'm sorry I just couldn't resist ;) Bad puns aside, I made a little resolution to myself that I'd attempt to post some less complex recipes. Truthfully, most of the meals I cook for myself on a daily basis are simple vegetable dishes, sandwiches and especially soups. Soups are great to make in a one-woman household. They use up my "about to spoil" produce, are healthy comfort food, and freeze until ready for devouring. And as the temperature creeps down to a frigid 55 degrees in Los Angeles, soup is the perfect warm-up meal.

Heirloom Bean, Red Russian Kale and Wheat Berry Chili

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked fresh Mixed Heirloom Beans (I used Scarlet Runners and Cannellinis)
  • 2 cups Wheat Berries, cooked
  • 1 large bunch Red Russian Kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 14 oz cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch of Jamaican Allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 cups No Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Blue Agave Nectar (or Light Brown Sugar)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the Olive Oil until it's hot but not smoking. Add the Garlic, and saute until fragrant...about 30 seconds. Add in the Onion, Pepper, Jamaican Allspice, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt and Pepper, and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add the Canned Tomatoes, Heirloom Beans, Broth and Agave. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes.

Add Kale and Cooked Wheat Berries to the pot, and allow the Kale to wilt and the Wheat Berries to heat through...about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, add in Lime Juice and taste for Salt and Pepper. Serve garnished with diced Avocado and Cilantro.


Anonymous said...

Avril Lavigne = Lame and pretentious.
JennShaggy - Awesome and rad!

Anabel said...

You're much cooler than Avril Lavigne. No way can she cook like you!

I've been stalking your blog for a while now and everything you cook looks incredible! This chili is certainly no exception; it looks perfect for the ridiculously cold weather we're currently experiencing up here in Canada.

Chris said...

Avril ain't that bad, but she certainly doesn't have her own incredible food blog like someone I know.
The best thing about these one-pot dinner soups is that the process is always the same: sweat the onions, throw in garlic and then toss in everything else. Super simple!

Laci said...

I just found your blog and the first (most recent post) made me get an immetiate impreession... you're pretty funny, and a cool cruelty free girl! I love the Avril comparison... that pic. of you is really pretty! =)

Mihl said...

She totally stole your style!
I love all of your recipes be they complex or not. This sounds as amazing as usual. I never heard of Russian kale. *off to research*

miss v said...

at least you don't have raccoon eyes... and even if you did, i bet they'd look sooo much better on you. :)

i'm still on a kale standoff, but when i finally give (and it's just around the corner), i have a mess of kale recipes to try. :)

Sophia Lee said...

lol! avril has nothing to you! she definitely doesn't eat as well as you, anyway! thanks for the recipe, btw, it looks freaking delicious.

janelle said...

You're soooo much prettier than Avril. Sorry she ripped off your style. :(

Jenn Shagrin said...

Thank you so much! You made me blush :)
There wasn't a link attached to your post, so I'm going hope you read this.

jd said...

Oh puh-leeze! You are SO much cuter than Avril!

And, as "uncomplicated" as this recipe may be (thanks a lot for getting that song in my head BTW!), it still looks/sounds absolutely fantastic!

tofufreak said...

i'll choose you over avril any day :)

chili looks super yummy! :)

Adriana said...

One pot... Bravo.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, yum! I may even people able to follow this one, haha.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

damn that shit looks dank! kale is the best.

Anonymous said...

I made this chili tonight, and it was delicious! Didn't change a thing, but did serve it with some savory cornbread--not vegan but wonderful. Corn scones would have been good, and could be made vegan.

The Compassionate Hedonist said...

I almost ate my computer when I saw this photo YUM> So fresh and gorgeous looking.

MLB2k11 said...

Nice post. Great blog.
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