Bean-A-Thon Kick-off: Spicy Cinnamon Chili

It’s here, its on, its live: Bean-A-Thon 2011!


What is it?!  Just over a month ago I was surveying the food supply I had as I was getting ready to pack up for over a month (btw I arrived back in Cali after an AMAZING winter break just a week ago) when I realized that I had an INSANE amount of beans.  Black beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, red lentils, green lentils, pinto beans…you get the idea 🙂

As such, I sent out a Call for Recipes and got an awesome response for bean recipes.  I plan on making a number of their recipe submissions over the course of the Bean-A-Thon, but if you’re curious now, you should check out their awesome blogs (and recipes): Averie, Natalie, Mara, Kari, Hippie Elise (btw, great name!), and Leah.  I also have a few outside the blogosphere submissions from friends who have given me permission to use/alter/post their recipes on the blog.  I’m seriously super stoked about the recipes, eating them (obvs) and I hope you are too 🙂

To start off this Bean-A-Thon officially, I thought I would kick off this Bean-A-Thon with a recipe I’ve had brewing in my mind for quite some time.  As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Mark Bittman, and loved a recipe I adapted from there (chili non carne).  As such, I’ve been thinking of ways to make it more ‘my own’ and have come up with this new Spicy Cinnamon Chili.


Spicy Cinnamon Chili

  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, cooked (how to cook pinto beans)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes with green chilies (drain some liquid)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (drain some liquid)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & peppa to taste

Soak, then cook pinto beans (Soak over night in 4-6 cups of water.  Strain, rinse and then put into a medium size sauce pan, and add 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil, and then cover & simmer for about an hour, or until beans are soft and ready to eat). 

Once pinto beans are thoroughly cooked, add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, salt & peppa.  (The amounts of spices listed above are estimates…I’ll be honest I didn’t use any measuring spoons, and instead added a few dashes throughout the simmering process until it was to my liking) Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.


I then served my chili with chili bean chips with jalapeno. 


Can you spot the chili bowl amongst the rocks?!  😉


MMMM.  Looks SO good!

I took advantage of the beautiful, sunny weather we’re having this week in Santa Cruz to get some outside shots – I think I found my new favorite food shooting spot!  Thank you landlords for having an awesome garden 🙂

And now the verdict.  While I think I added a bit too much cayenne pepper, I added more than a tsp and its a bit on the spicy side, even though I love spicy, I thought the combination of of spices mixed together quite well and created a lovely flavor palette.  I loved the spicy kick with the sweet cinnamon after taste.  I also loved the way the pinto bean flavor and texture was integrated into the dish.  I also enjoyed the extra kick the black bean chili chips with jalapeño added to the mix.  Two thumbs up, in my book, and an awesome way to start off Bean-A-Thon with a new recipe!

What are your favorite type of beans/recipes?  I love pinto, back and white beans, but I’m excited to try a few recipes with beans I don’t normally cook with, like kidney beans and hopefully navy beans! 


Happy Bean-A-Thon!!  Check out the blog every Sunday as I try out new recipes until !!


4 thoughts on “Bean-A-Thon Kick-off: Spicy Cinnamon Chili

    • Haha 🙂 Yeah, I have SO many beans, its ridiculous. To counteract this problem, I’m cooking them all…every weekend until I’m down to an actual reasonable amount (which could be a while: I do have 1 10-pound bag…)

  1. I love making homemade hummus with beans. Red bean hummus with some crackers and a bunch of cut up crudities is the perfect light meal for me.

    The chili looks delish!

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