This satisfying stew is a breeze to make if you have canned beans and tomatoes on hand, as well as some cooked rice. This stew is a perfect meal for a cozy night’s dinner, with plenty of leftovers for the next day. And it makes a great taco filling!
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 ribs celery, sliced (about ¾ cup)
- 8 medium white or cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 4 medium cloves)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 3 cups water
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each; about 3 cups total), undrained
- 2 cans cooked black beans (15 ounces each; about 3 cups total), drained and rinsed
- 2¼ cups cooked brown rice (see Notes)
- 1 large white potato, peeled or unpeeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1¾ cups)
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the onion, and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add the celery, mushrooms, garlic, coriander, cumin, and chili powder, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, adding water as needed.
- Stir in the water, tomatoes, beans, rice, and potatoes, and bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro toward the end of cooking.
Beans: Any kind of beans could be used in place of the black, such as kidney and pinto, or a mix. See below for suggestions of brands.
Rice: Similarly, any type of rice can be used here. I like short-grain brown. To cook short-grain brown rice, place 1 cup of dry rice into a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cooked covered for 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes still covered before serving.
Tomatoes: See the photo below, as there are many types of packaged tomatoes you can use. Or you can use fresh as well. For this recipe use 2 cans of diced tomatoes, or 1 jar (of the Eden brand), or the whole box of the Pomi brand.
Sauteing alternative: If you want to skip the step of sauteing the onion and other vegetables first, you can also just put everything into your soup pot at once and cook it until the potatoes are tender. I like sauteing because it intensifies the flavors, especially with onion and mushrooms.
Spices and herbs: I don't favor overly hot and spicy flavors in my meals, but if you do, this would be a good one to add more chili powder and/or other favorite chili or Mexican food herbs/spices to. I like "ancho" chili powder since it’s mild.
These are two brands of pre-cooked black beans that I like, both organic and salt-free. Eden doesn’t use BPA in their cans of beans, a toxic substance typically used as a preservative in aluminum can linings. And the Whole Foods 365 brand has moved to using aseptic square containers for some of their beans to avoid BPA concerns.
Here are four types of tomato products that I use. My favorite is the Eden crushed tomatoes in the jar; it’s organic and salt-free, and has a smooth, sweet taste (I’ve only found this at Whole Foods and healthy groceries). Pomi brand has a similar taste and contains only tomatoes (no salt); it is not organic. The Muir Glen and 365 brands are organic and salt-free, and I like them too, but they have a little of that “from a can” taste to them, but it’s not objectionable. The Pomi and Eden packages contain about twice as much as a can of diced tomatoes. Some are crushed, some are diced, some are chopped; it doesn’t matter which you use in this recipe.
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