Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health month and, with this in mind, we continue with a low fat, low sodium Three Bean Chili that is, undoubtably, just as tasty as any containing ground beef. Last week I shared one of my favourite soups, Moroccan Chickpea Soup and this week, it’s beans again, but, this time we take on what is usually a very fat laden, salty item.

heart healthy chickpea soup
See? This soup is another reason you need an Instant Pot people

If Betty Draper had an Instant Pot, she would have probably drank less, cooked more and still would have undoubtably been left with plenty of time and energy to keep her hair on point. Luckily, we can all get ourselves an electric pressure cooker and join the cult although my hair has never looked as good as Betty’s.

Yeah, I know, REAL chili is all meat, no beans, yadda yadda, Texas, yadda yadda. Beth and Rip would never eat fake chili with beans. However, this isn’t Texas and it IS heart health month, so, we will not make the meaty version. On the contrary, we’ll make a low fat, low sodium, healthy, hearty bean chili and you will just have to get over it. Don’t have an instant pot? Honestly, just get one already.

Using use a mix of three beans gives a good amount of variety in taste and texture. You can use all one type, or, conversely, switch them out for a totally different selection of beans. Regardless of the beans you choose, you benefit from these nutritional powerhouse, so it’s all good. Eat it as it, serve it with low fat greek yogurt or even scoop some on top of a baked potato or baked sweet potato for a well rounded, heart healthy meal. Whip up some healthyish nachos using no sodium tortilla chips, light Cheddar which, all things considered, is a rare treat but not that bad for the old arteries.

Pressure Cooker Three Bean Chili

serves 6-8

To Quick Soak the Beans: (you need a total of 1 lb or 454 grams beans)

1/3 lb (150g) dried black beans
1/3 lb (150g) dried kidney beans
1/3 lb (150g) dried pinto beans
4 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt

rinse the beans, put them in the pot with 4 cups of water and a tsp of salt, close the lid (making sure the valve is turned to seal) and hit manual – program it for 2 minutes. When it’s done, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then slowly start to release the steam. If anything other than steam comes out, give it another minute and try again. Pour the beans in a strainer and give them a rinse and set aside.


2 tbls oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 lb (454g)  mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
*the soaked and drained beans
3 cups (750ml) low or no sodium vegetable or mushroom stock
1 cup (250ml) beer
2 tbls cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tsp smoke paprika
2 tsp mexican oregano
small handful of cilantro, chopped
pinch kosher salt
1 800ml can diced tomatoes (use low sodium or no salt added if you can find them)
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo, chopped (or to taste)


Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until they are finely chopped.

Turn the pot to saute and when it’s hot, add the oil and then throw in the onion, garlic and celery. Saute for about 3 minutes to soften before adding in the finely chopped mushrooms. Give it a good stir and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in the stock, beer and add the beans, the cumin, chili powder,  smoked paprika, oregano and cilantro and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust salt if needed.

Bring to a simmer and as soon as you see it start to bubble, lock the lid on (making sure the valve is turned to sealing) and turn off the sauté. Hit the manual button and set it for 15 minutes and, when the time is up, let the pressure release naturally (or at least for 10 to 15 minutes) before you open the lid.

Test all three types of bean and make sure they are cooked to your liking. If any of them feel like they could use a bit more time, seal the lid again, and, most importantly, make sure the vent is set back to sealing and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes at HP, give a 10 minute NPR and then check again until they are perfect. At this point, add in the tomatoes as well as the chipotle chili and let it simmer on sauté for about ten minutes.