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The progress of science is often affected more by the frailties of humans and their institutions than by the limitations of scientific measuring devices. The scientific method is only as effective as the humans using it. It does not automatically lead to progress. - Steven S. Zumdahl

26.03.19 1101 [PST]

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Light Vegetarian Bean Chili

For a vegetarian bean chili recipe that was rich and highly flavorful, with a nice, sharp heat as well as some gentle sweetness, we narrowed down a list of eight initial contenders to three beans with an earthy flavor and firm texture—red kidney, pinto, and black. To season our vegetarian bean chili recipe we decided to add a sweet red pepper to our base of onions and garlic. Chili powder, along with whole cumin seeds and a little cayenne, provided the depth and heat we sought. For the liquid, we decided to stick with water and the customary tomatoes. (less) We recommend a mix of pinto, black, and red kidney beans. If you like your chili spicier, you can increase the amount of cayenne. Serve this chili over rice.

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion , minced
1 large red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
9 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups canned beans (see note), drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime


1. Toast the cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, oil, cayenne, and ˝ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the beans, water, tomatoes, oregano, and brown sugar, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chili is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn and continue to simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, and season with salt to taste. (The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)