With the dog days of summer upon us, I frequently reach for my slow cooker. In fact, I use my slow cooker as much in the summer as I do in the winter months!
My Vegan Chorizo and Black Bean Stew uses spicy vegan chorizo from Asheville-based No Evil Foods instead of one of the vegan ground meats like Impossible Burger that I use for my chili. The vegan chorizo gives the stew a brighter, zestier flavor profile – especially because the finished dish is not masked with avocado, cheese, or sour cream, which often accompany chili at our home.
But since the chorizo goes in last, let’s start at the beginning.
My chorizo was inspired by the brightly colored Cubanelle (or Cubano) peppers my hubby brought home from the farmers market.
Since I’m trying to improve my knife skills, I broke out my Shun chef’s knife and diced away!
I used my trusty Cusinart Multifunction Slow Cooker to sauté my onion, garlic, and peppers.
I added organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, organic diced tomatoes with chilis, and a can of drained and rinsed organic black beans to the slow cooker and cooked everything on the high setting for about 90 minutes.
Since I also planned to serve my stew with skillet cornbread and a zucchini and yellow squash salad, flavored with cumin and lemon, I made those sides while the stew as cooking and began prepping my vegan chorizo about 30 minutes before I planned to eat.
The No Evil Foods chorizo comes in a casing that you need to remove first before slicing . . .
The chorizo can either be chopped or crumbled from there. Instead of sautéing the chorizo in olive oil to make it crispy, as the package advises, I put my crumbled chorizo directly in the slow cooker, turning the temperature to low for those last 30 minutes.
Sprinkle on a little fresh cilantro, and you have a super easy vegan stew with a bit of a kick.
Add a slice of warm cornbread and a cumin-scented lemony zucchini and summer squash salad, and you have a full blown summer feast!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 red Cubano pepper, diced
- 1 orange Cubano pepper, diced
- 1 green Cubano pepper, diced
- Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 15 ounce can organic fire roasted or regular diced tomatoes
- 1 10 ounce can organic diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 2 15 ounce cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10-ounce package No Evil Foods El Capitán Chorizo (formerly known as El Zapatista), casing removed, sliced, and either chopped, crumbled, or torn into smaller pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Turn on your multifunction slow cooker to sauté and heat to 250 degrees. (Or heat a large skillet over a burner, if your slow cooker doesn’t have a sauté function.) Add the olive oil, and then the chopped onions. Sauté the onion for 5-7 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute; then add the diced peppers, some sea salt and freshly ground pepper and continue sautéing for about 5 more minutes. (If you have been using a skillet for sautéing instead of a slow cooker, now is the time to add the contents of your skillet to your slow cooker.)
- Add the organic diced tomatoes (fire roasted or regular), the organic tomatoes with green chilis, and the organic black beans. Cover and cook on high for between 60- 90 minutes. (Check to make sure that it is not getting too dry - I don't know how quickly your slow cooker cooks or how hot it gets! I cooked mine for 90 minutes, but yours may cook more quickly!)
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat (usually when I put the cornbread in the oven to bake!), turn the slow cooker to low, and add the No Evil Foods Chorizo. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the chopped fresh cilantro. Ladle into bowls and serve with cornbread and zucchini and summer squash salad flavored with cumin and lemon.