Black Bean Espresso Chili

Well I believe it’s safe to say that fall weather is officially here in South Carolina, which means late spring temperatures in the afternoon and winter temperatures at night. With that said, our low here in the Lowcountry was in the forties Sunday night and into Monday morning. When the weather turns chilly, what better to warm you up than soup or stew, or how about chili? I decided to go the chili route.

The wonderful thing about chili is that is that it’s infinitely adjustable and this recipe is something I scrapped together from my pantry and took very little effort. The espresso adds a mysterious smoky zip that’s complimented by a dash of cinnamon. The pumpkin doesn’t stand out on its own, but rather works to add thickness and depth (no, it won’t taste like pumpkin spice chili). I added a little more spice than I recorded, simply because my hunny loves him some hot chili. The way it’s recorded is more to my taste but it’s equally good extra spicy. I have to admit this was pretty addictive – I already have requests to make this again.

 Served with Shrimp

Black Bean Espresso Chili

3 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz can unseasoned black beans, drained
1 17.64 oz box rustic chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 c pumpkin puree
1-2 c water
1 1/2 T instant espresso powder
2 T chili paste
2 T cayenne
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for serving
1/2 t black pepper
1 1/2 T Sriracha
Plain Greek yogurt to serve, optional
1 1/2 T green onion, chopped, to serve, optional
In a large saucepan, cook red onion over medium heat until just softened. Add garlic and cook until golden.

Sautee Onion

Add black beans, tomatoes, pumpkin puree and water; stir well to combine and bring to a low boil for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and ad espresso, chili paste, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, Sriracha and cilantro.

Add Tomatoes

Add Chili Paste

Cover and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, checking for sticking and stirring every few minutes.

Serve topped with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, cilantro and green onion. I added sauteed shrimp to mine as well, you know for extra protein and just because I love me some skrumps.


Served with Shrimp

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Bulletproof Coffee

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The latest craze, bulletproof coffee, which is essentially buttered coffee, was one I had to try. I’m a huge proponent of using butter in one’s daily diet, in moderation of course. Although, as a child I would often get caught sneaking butter from the refrigerator to snack on. Shame, I know. Nowadays, I refrain from butter snacking, only snagging a small taste if I’m cooking with butter.

Back to bulletproof. This buttery coffee drink is supposed to boost brain function aka energy and concentration. This kind of makes sense since the brain requires fats to properly function. (An interesting phenom to read up on is “grain brain.”) This miraculous beverage is also supposed to keep hunger at bay, therefore curbing overeating.

I whipped up a dose at 6 this morning and I must say that I like it. I’m typically a coffee purist, drinking only black coffee. However, I must say that I enjoy the taste. I used a dash of cinnamon in mine and I have to admit that the coffee flavor has not been diminished. Whether or not my focus will be increased, I have yet to find out. I always have a piece of fruit and a cup of black coffee for breakfast once at work so the results are to be determined.

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Bulletproof Coffee
1 c black coffee
1 T butter (grass-fed organic is best)
1 T coconut oil
Cinnamon, optional

Combine ingredients and whip until frothy.