Oct 18 2011

Fifteen Bean Chili…Seriously?


***The formatting is giving me fits so please forgive the spacing issues.  We are trying to fix it.***

When my husband first suggested using a bag of fifteen bean soup mix (just the beans not the seasoning packet) to make my chili…I have to admit I was skeptical.  Don’t get me wrong!  I absolutely LOVE chili!  I love eating chili and I love making chili.  In fact, my secret recipe chili won an award in a chili cook-off a year ago this month!  So, you know…if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it.  lol  ( I was dealing with a little bit of a pride issue regarding my chili making skills.)

But at the same time I love to try new ways of making things that we love even more healthy.  The problem is…something most people don’t know about me…the fact that I can handle beans when they are in something like chili…but they aren’t my favorite part.  So using fifteen different kinds of beans in my secret recipe chili….well…I had my doubts about how good it would be…until I tasted it!!!!  Oh my goodness!  It was the best chili I have ever tasted!

There is an added benefit…shhh…its one of those things that people don’t talk about very often.  With that many different kinds of beans in our chili I was pretty, seriously worried about what kind of ummm “gas effect” it would have on everyone in our household.  Look…beans usually cause some ummm “gassy situations” in our family so  was a little concerned OK?  LOL  Well you know what?!  The combination of beans used together actually worked so well together that it was a “quiet night” with no “gassy aromas” remaining in the air.  Seriously!  Not only is this fifteen bean chili REALLY good for you…there are no painful after effects!  And the beans DO NOT overwhelm the chili in flavor…which was a big surprise to someone like me who isn’t crazy about them.

So with so many nutritional benefits and such great flavor…my version of “Fifteen Bean Chili” was dubbed a winner with everyone in the family…no exceptions!

Trying something new in this cooking situation challenged me to really listen to my husband, take his advise and suggestions in an area that I feel pretty confident.  I am so glad that the Lord has been working on me in this area of submission.  Will felt blessed that I was open and teachable as well as being very pleased that I was willing to go so far outside of my comfort zone to try something in the kitchen that he really enjoys.  Beans!

So it was a double blessing!  I am learning more and more everyday as the Lord is transforming my desire to be more of God (in this case submitting to my husband’s ideas for cooking) and less of my own will (which would have disappointed my husband and had us miss out on something very good for us and yummy too!)

So…my thanks go out to Will for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new!!!

So here it is…Here is how these very pretty beans become “Fifteen Bean Chili- Mary Joy Style”!

Fifteen Bean Chili- Mary Joy Style

This recipe makes enough chili for four people with enough leftovers to make into “chili rice burritos” for later in the week.


One bag of Fifteen Bean Soup Mix or if you like you can mix your own dry bean mixture w/your own favorites in it.  I don’t use the seasoning packet enclosed in it because it is loaded with sodium!



Chili Powder


3 cloves minced garlic


Crushed red pepper flakes

1 Bay leaf

1 Sweet Onion

1 lb. of Ground turkey or Ground venison

1/2 Green Bell Pepper

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

3 cans of diced tomatoes

1 can of corn (drained and rinsed to get rid of excess sodium)

1/4 cup of apple juice

And the last and most important ingredient…
Prayer– this is a key ingredient!!!  While cooking for my family I like to take that time to pray for each of them…that the food I am preparing will give them the energy and strength they need to be healthy and happy and get the things done they need done.  I pray that I will remember that the work I am doing to prepare this meal is an important ministry that God has given me as my husband’s help-meet and the mother of our children and hostess to our guests.  I pray for peace at our dinner table and in our home.  Don’t skip this step!  It’s my secret ingredient! :D
1.  Rinse and sort dry beans using a colander to make sure there are no rocks or dirt hiding in this colorful mix.
2.  Pour the fifteen bean mixture into a large pot and cover with water so that there is about 2-3 inches of water above the beans.
3.  Add seasonings…these are approximate measurements add to your own preferences…1 tsp. Chili Powder, 1 tsp. Basil, 1 tsp Cumin, 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, 1 Bay leaf.  Then stir.
4.  Bring beans to a boil and let boil for about 10 minutes.
5.  Turn down to a medium temperature and allow to cook for approximately two hours or until almost tender.  Add more water so that they are covered with 2 inches of water above the beans at all times.
6.  Turn down to simmer and simmer until tender.  Add more water as necessary.  (Doing this will help the beans to maintain their shape and not get mushy. There are many different beans all cooking together and some will cook faster than others.  Trust me this works!)  Turn off the beans but leave them on the burner sitting.  DO NOT DRAIN.
7.  Brown your ground meat with the green and red bell peppers and onions and apple juice.
8.  Add more seasoning to taste.  I add approximately 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon chili seasoning to the browned meat mixture.
9.  Turn the beans back on simmer.  Add tomatoes to the beans and water.  Stir.
10.  Add browned meat mixture to the beans.  Stir.
11.  Add corn.  Let simmer for at least 1 hour.
Options for serving:  some people enjoy it over whole wheat pasta or topped with small fritos and sour cream and chopped green onions.
Use leftovers:  The leftovers make a great “Mexican rice” if you mix it into three cups of cooked brown rice.  We use this rice mixture in whole wheat tortillas as burritos adding fresh chopped lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a little bit of low-fat sour cream.  Delicious!
Question:  Have you ever tried something different or outside of your comfort zone in your cooking at your husband’s suggestion?  How did it turn out for you?

Please share your secret in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!  I LOVE your comments!!!  They always make my day and I promise to respond to each and every one within 48 hours.

After commenting here…be sure to stop over at Emily’s Tasty Tuesday Party at Naptime Creations.  My fluffy whole wheat (sugar-free) biscuits recipe is one of the featured recipes in her article this week!  I was so thrilled!

Be sure to come back…
Thursday as Will shares from his heart in his article “Change is Hard”.
Friday as I share an introduction to our family’s Advent Jesse Tree Project ornaments that we are beginning to make now so that we are ready by Advent!
Next week for our big giveaway as we celebrate my 44th birthday and I share my big news about my article that was reprinted in “An Encouraging Word” Magazine!!!
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Dancing at the foot of the Cross,
Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

Joining with:

Tasty Tuesdays at Naptime Creations

Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlum

Mangia Monday at Shine your Light

Homemaking Link-up at Raising Homemakers

Tasty Tuesdays at Blessed with Grace

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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

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