Hearty Four Bean Chili

Mom’s four Bean Chili (Meal prep recipe)

My first memory of chili was when I was about 11 years old, at a church supper when my family lived in Louisville, Kentucky. On the menu that day was something called “Haystacks”, a delicious concoction that started with a base of corn chips, topped with chili, followed by all the fixings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onions, shredded cheese, all topped with sour cream. I still remember eating my first Haystack off a paper plate with a plastic fork. Yum! Fast-forward about twenty years, and I am a busy working mom, desperate for healthy recipes that can be made in bulk, be reheated easily, and can feed my family for days. Enter Mom’s Four Bean Chili. I have spent several years perfecting this recipe, and after I bought my Instantpot, I started doubling the recipe so that I could freeze half of it for another time when I needed a wholesome dinner on the table in a hurry. I make my chili using grass-fed ground beef because my family is not a fan of ground turkey, but you could use any ground meat that you like. The beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and potassium. An added bonus is that beans are mostly made up of resistant starch, which is prebiotic (supports a healthy gut!). This is a mildly spicy chili and is sure to please all the members of your family. Enjoy!

Hearty Four Bean Chili

Mom’s Four Bean Chili

Elizabeth Tague
This warm, hearty chili recipe makes a double batch that can be frozen and reheated later. This chili is sure to please everyone at your dinner table!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10
Calories 235 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Dutch Oven or heavy pot with lid
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Large spoon
  • Garlic press

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or put through a garlic press
  • 3 bell peppers red, orange, yellow, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 14.5 oz diced fire-roasted tomatoes with medium green chilies, canned
  • 14.5 oz diced fire-roasted tomatoes, canned
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ¾ cup water
  • 15.5 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz pinto beans (including liquid)
  • salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste, extra chili powder and cumin if needed, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in the Dutch oven. Add chopped onion and peppers and saute until softened. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add chili powder, ancho chili powder, and cumin, mix to coat vegetables, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes to "toast" spices.
  • Crumble ground beef into the Dutch oven with vegetables and brown ground beef, mixing as needed to cook the meat all the way through. Drain excess fat if needed.
  • Add both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and all the beans, including the pinto beans with their liquid. Stir until combined and bring to a simmer.
  • Continue simmering on low for 2 hours. Chili will thicken as it cooks. Check seasonings and add additional chili powder and cumin if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add your favorite hot sauce if you like it a little more on the hot and spicy side.
  • I put half the recipe into a freezer-safe round container so that I have another meal ready for another time. Freezing the chili in a round container allows the frozen chili to fit into the instant pot while still frozen. ***see notes below***

Notes

This chili can be eaten right away but tastes even better the next day after the flavors have time to develop.
This is delicious served with crushed corn chips, chopped red onions, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, anything you would put on tacos! 
This is also delicious served with warm cornbread. 
I freeze half the recipe in a round plastic freezer-safe container so that I have a quick meal for another time.  I reheat it in my Instant Pot and dinner is ready in no time. Set Instant Pot to saute,  run the container with frozen chili under hot water to release the frozen block of chili, and put into the Instant Pot. Add 1/4 cup of water and keep it on the saute setting for 5 minutes.  When the 5 minutes is up, set the Instant Pot to the steam setting (or to your pressure cook setting) and set the timer for 20 minutes.  Natural pressure release for 10 minutes, release lid, stir and chili is ready to serve.  

Nutrition

Sodium: 817mgCalcium: 121mgVitamin C: 54mgVitamin A: 2436IUSugar: 8gFiber: 13gPotassium: 827mgCholesterol: 1mgCalories: 235kcalSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 4gProtein: 12gCarbohydrates: 39gIron: 5mg
Keyword Chili, Tex-Mex
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pumpkin Gingerbread

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Gingerbread

When I was about 12 years old, my family lived with my grandparents for almost a year. During this time, I got to eat plenty of my grandmother’s delicious home cooking. One of my favorite foods that she made was gingerbread with a dollop of whipped topping. I have many fond memories of my grandmother making this around the holidays and the warm, spicy smell of ginger, cinnamon and molasses make me feel like I am right back in her kitchen. I created this recipe to be gluten-free, but to also capture the delicious, warm spicy flavors that I remember in my grandmother’s gingerbread. I added pumpkin puree to give it a little healthy boost and added a surprise ingredient (coriander!) to give it a little extra spicy kick. This pumpkin gingerbread is sure to become one of your favorite recipes!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Gluten-free Pumpkin Gingerbread

Be Well with Liza
This is old-fashioned gingerbread with a surprise ingredient. This gluten-free pumpkin gingerbread has all the warm and cozy spice feels that you expect from gingerbread with a surprise spice that maximizes the flavor. Try this with a dollop of whipped topping, or lightly toasted with some grass-fed butter. This makes a great hostess gift, or would be perfect on the dessert table at your holiday gatherings. Heck, this would even be good for breakfast. Or a snack. Or whenever you are craving pumpkin gingerbread! The best part is, you can make this in one bowl. You need to make this right now!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 187 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer (Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer)
  • Standard Size Loaf Pan (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½)
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Rubber Scraper
  • Oven heated to 350°
  • Cooling Rack

Ingredients
  

To Begin: preheat oven to 350°. Toast ½ cup of pecans in heated oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

    Wet Ingredients

    • 3 large eggs
    • cup maple sugar
    • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree canned
    • cup butter, melted

    Dry Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • ½ tsp cloves
    • ¼ tsp all spice
    • ¼ tsp corriander this is the surprise ingredient – you'll have to trust me on this!

    Instructions
     

    • In mixing bowl, add eggs and beat on low speed until the whites and yolks are combined.
    • Add maple sugar, molasses, vanilla and pumpkin and mix 1-2 minutes until combined.
    • Add pumpkin puree to the bowl and mix for about 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber scraper and add butter. Mix until butter is fully incorporated.
    • To mixing bowl, add gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, allspice, and corriander. Add pecans if using. Mix until incorporated and use rubber scraper to scrape sides of bowl and make sure all flour mixture is fully mixed in.
    • Grease loaf pan and pour batter evenly into the pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    • Cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack to continue cooling. This is really good warm with butter, or cooled with whipped cream or non-daiy whipped topping (we love So Delicious Coco Whip). Enjoy!
      Pumpkin Gingerbread with whipped topping

    Notes

    This pumpkin gingerbread is delicious with or without the toasted pecans.  Instead of pecans, you could sprinkle chopped pumpkin seeds on top of the bread before baking.  
     

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1sliceSodium: 289mgCalcium: 72mgVitamin C: 1mgVitamin A: 3394IUSugar: 18gFiber: 2gPotassium: 196mgCholesterol: 54mgCalories: 187kcalSaturated Fat: 4gFat: 7gProtein: 3gCarbohydrates: 30gIron: 2mg
    Keyword gingerbread, holiday baking, holiday breads, holidays, pumpkin gingerbread, quick breads
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut bread

    I will never forget when I had my first baby in March of 1993. I live outside of Philadelphia, and that year there was a massive blizzard in the middle of March that paralyzed the entire northeastern region. You may have heard of it: The Blizzard of ’93. Of course, it was during this blizzard that the baby decided to make an entrance into the world! After a harrowing ambulance ride to the nearest hospital, the rest of the delivery went as planned, and I was blessed with a healthy 8 lb. 13 oz. baby boy, that I named Austin. I was initially going to name him Storm, but thankfully my family talked me out of that!

    When I got home from the hospital, my mom came for a visit with my sisters to see baby Austin. She brought lunch, and she brought the most amazing banana nut bread that she had gotten from her church’s bake sale. Now, I had always been a huge fan of banana nut bread growing up, and my go-to recipe had always been the one in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Now don’t get me wrong, that recipe makes an incredibly good loaf of traditional banana nut bread. But this banana bread my mom brought took things to a different level. This banana nut bread didn’t just have bananas and nuts. It had chocolate chips. It had coconut. It was almost dessert-like. And from that moment on, I began to add chocolate chips and coconut to my banana bread.

    My mom and my sister, with baby Austin on the day they brought THE BEST BANANA BREAD EVER!

    Fast forward several years (ok, a lot of years because my son is now 27!), and my husband and I have both developed a gluten sensitivity. (I’ll write more about that in a different post). We are not able to eat the beloved banana nut bread anymore. This was a big deal because I used to make that bread twice a month. I knew I needed to come up with a gluten-free version of that banana nut bread. And here it is.

    This Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut Bread is moist. Delicious. Very Banana-ey. (Is that a word?). The trick is to use very, very ripe bananas because bananas get sweeter and more liquified as they ripen. Another trick is to use 4-5 bananas. This takes the banana flavor and moistness to an entirely different level. I use gluten-free flour in this recipe; specifically, Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free flour, which is available in most grocery stores, and I get the big bag from Wegman’s. This recipe also uses butter, but if you need it to be vegan or dairy-free, you could substitute a non-dairy butter spread. I hope your family likes this recipe as much as my family does!

    Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut Bread

    Be Well with Liza
    Tropical Banana Nut Bread is a new twist on a classic favorite! Tropical Banana Nut Bread has shredded coconut to give it a tropical flair along with chocolate chips and ground walnuts to give it a rich flavor. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free and is simple to make. It's perfect with a pat of grass-fed butter and a cup of coffee.
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 20 mins
    Cook Time 55 mins
    Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
    Course Breakfast, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Servings 10 slices
    Calories 307 kcal

    Equipment

    • Mixer (Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer)
    • Whisk
    • Mixing Bowls
    • Standard Size Loaf Pan (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½), greased
    • Measuring Cups and Spoons
    • Rubber Scraper
    • Oven heated to 350°

    Ingredients
      

    Dry Ingredients

    • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour I like Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour.
    • 1 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1 tsp Baking Soda
    • ¼ tsp Salt

    Wet Ingredients

    • ½ cup Unsalted Butter Softened
    • ½ cup Granulated Cane Sugar I use organic cane sugar so it is not bleached
    • 2 Large Eggs
    • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    • 1-2 tbsp Almond Milk Or non-dairy milk of your choice
    • 4-5 Very Ripe Bananas (4 large or 5 small)
    • cup Walnuts, ground or finely chopped I use my coffee grinder for this step
    • cup Shredded Coconut
    • ½ cup Chocolate Chips

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-heat oven to 350°. Gather all your ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Set bowl aside.
      Ingredients for Tropical Banana Bread
    • In a stand mixer or with hand mixer in a separate bowl, beat softened butter until creamy.
    • Add sugar to bowl with butter and beat for 1-2 minutes until incorporated into the butter.
    • Add eggs and beat until mixed well into the butter/sugar mixture.
    • Add vanilla and almond milk and beat until incorporated.
    • Add the VERY ripe bananas one at a time and beat until the bananas are broken into very small pieces.
    • Add dry ingredients that were combined and set aside in the first step and mix well with mixer.
    • By hand, mix in coconut, ground walnuts, and chocolate chips and mix until fully combined.
    • Pour/scrape batter into a greased standard size loaf pan.
    • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes in a 350° oven. Oven times may vary so start checking at 50 minutes. My bread is done at 55 minutes. The bread should be golden to light brown on top.
    • Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes on cooling rack and then turn out of pan to allow to cool 20 – 30 minutes more before cutting.
    • This bread is excellent warm or toasted in a toaster oven with a pat of grass fed butter. Yum!
      Slice of tropical banana bread with butter

    Notes

    I use Bob’s Red Mill One to One Baking flour because it substitutes exactly 1:1 for regular flour for recipes like this one.  If you use a different brand of gluten-free flour, make sure that the flour has xanthan gum added, or you will need to add it.  Your flour packaging should give guidelines for adding xanthan gum specific to your brand. 
    If you are not gluten-free, you could substitute regular all-purpose flour.  
    If you are allergic to nuts, you can eliminate the ground walnuts and the almond milk and use another non-dairy milk instead.  
    If you aren’t dairy-free, you could use regular milk instead of almond milk.
    I use ground walnuts because my family does not like the texture of the nuts in the bread, but I like the nutty flavor the walnuts give it, along with the protein and omega -3’s, so I sneak them in by grinding the walnuts up.  You can chop the nuts if you prefer, and you can also toast them to enhance the nutty flavor in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.  
    I hope you enjoy this tropical banana bread as much as my family and I do! 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1sliceSodium: 234mgCalcium: 56mgVitamin C: 5mgVitamin A: 369IUSugar: 20gFiber: 4gPotassium: 251mgCholesterol: 57mgCalories: 307kcalSaturated Fat: 7gFat: 15gProtein: 5gCarbohydrates: 43gIron: 1mg
    Keyword banana bread, bread, quick breads, snack breads
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    A New Season, A New Beginning

    As summer is winding down and the fall season is approaching, I am excited to begin a new season in my own life by starting this blog and connecting with you! On the blog I will be sharing my experiences as a grad student pursuing my masters degree in Nutrition and Wellness, along with sharing the latest research backed nutrition and wellness information. I will also be sharing recipes, tips to help busy families eat healthier, and some of my own personal family stories and experiences.

    Speaking of the fall season approaching, who has kids that are going back to school? Does anyone else have mixed emotions at this time of year? My kids are definitely ready to go back, they are getting bored. I am definitely ready for them to go back, I work from home and that is especially challenging when they are home. But I will totally miss the laid back summer schedule (and being able to sleep in a little!) My two youngest boys, ages 11 and 12, go back to school tomorrow. My 12-year-old is heading to 7th grade (middle school!!) AND playing football for the first time, and my 11-year-old is heading to 6th grade, so we have backpacks packed with all the school supplies and football equipment sitting by the front door, all ready to go. Ready or not, here we go! Stay tuned for some healthy lunch ideas in my next post, and enjoy every last little bit of summer.

    Out with my husband, Tim, and our two youngest boys, Seamus and Brady, enjoying a last summer dinner out before returning to the back-to-school routine.