Black Bean, Zucchini Pineapple Chili

Nearly blocked off from town by closed-due-to-the-flood highways, my pioneer spirit from a past life kicked in, high gear. So grateful we are not in the immediate path of high waters, it felt like a just right day to make chili with what was on hand. Grateful for the garden – for zucchini, and jalapenos. And a few things in the pantry. This chili is destined to become a new favorite.

While it was simmering, I took a peek out the windows, and set out for the wet outdoors.

I was surprised to see worms writhing at the bottom of my steps, inside the house – 6 or 7 of them! I scooped them up and set them free, back outside in the dirt. Baker Lake looks calm enough now, but waters have risen to the level of the dock, and heavy rain clouds are still building towards the west.

So … that spicy sweet bowl of chili, feels in perfect order. The pineapple, hint of smoked paprika, and jalapeno fire is really a fine combination of flavors.

Black Bean, Zucchini Pineapple Chili

Black Bean, Zucchini Pineapple Chili

Black Bean, Zucchini Pineapple Chili

Makes about 2 quarts

Note: I used a prepared salsa for this recipe – in the future, able to easily shop and glean produce, I might make the chili with a cup of cooked, diced tomatoes and finely minced 1/2 c. of fresh pineapple. But it is good this way, delicious, in fact! Here’s to Paul Newman!

  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 6-7 large cloves peeled and minced garlic
  • 1 minced fresh jalapeno (or to taste)
  • 4 – 5 c. chopped zucchini
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  25 oz. can organic black beans
  • 1/4 c. medium spiced chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 c. (approximately) Paul Newman’s Pineapple Salsa

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and zucchini. Stir frequently until vegetables are lightly browned/translucent. Add un-drained can of black beans and chili powder, then salsa. Pour in about one cup of water, lower heat to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Excellent with  a dollop of sour cream, and fresh cornbread with softened butter and local honey.

Stay safe, and prayers to all affected by the Colorado floods.

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