Beauty Queen Chili

I am always surprised when the greenmarket is still up to its ears in corn and tomatoes come late September. In anticipation of the months of cabbage and kale ahead, I buy as much vibrant produce as I can possibly carry and then watch it wrinkle and wither at home as my family just can’t eat another tomato salad. From this annual phenomenon bloomed the world’s prettiest chili–a dazzling, luminous, and highly healthy mix of purple, red, yellow, and orange.

I have included the ingredients and proportions of what I had on hand. You can easily tweak this recipe to fit your taste, or to fit the variety of produce fading in your fridge. (But to earn the Beauty Queen Chili title, keep the vibrant color palette in mind.) If I were using conventional produce I would peel the peelable items, but since I used organic I didn’t peel anything, just washed it all well. I tend to be spontaneous so I used canned beans, but use dried beans if you have the time. Lastly, I am drawn to cumin like a cat to catnip, so I actually added (much) more than listed here–suit yourself on that one.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and diced
3 cups red, yellow, or orange tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed, trimmed, sliced
1 ear of corn, shucked
1 large beet, scrubbed with ends removed, cubed
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cubed
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 cup organic cannellini (or other white) beans and liquid
1 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
Sea salt, to taste

1. In a large pot sauté shallots in olive oil over medium heat until

2. Add tomatoes and sauté until they start to release some of their juice.

3. Add the rest of the vegetables and beans and bring to a simmer,
stirring occasionally.

4. Turn heat down and let simmer until thick, about an hour. Depending on
the mix of your ingredients, you may need to add a little water during
cooking for the right consistency.

5. Stir in cumin and salt.

6. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 8.

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living.

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Liz Thompson
Elisabeth T.5 years ago

Love all these ingredients, thanks so much!

Reina Folkers
Reina Folkers8 years ago

About the green tomatoes: I think it's a vary bad idea, to wrap the green tomatoes into newspaper. The ink will not be a very good ingredient for the tomatoes. Try to ripe them at a sunny place, outwards or inwards by a sunny window!

Dirk Bakken
Dirk Bakken8 years ago

I like this recipe, My chili is a bit more tomato based,cumin. But if you have a sack of carrots, and a sack of ootaters you have food!

Rosalind R.
Rosalind R.8 years ago

I freeze any extra ripened tomatoes for winter use in Chile, soups, etc. Also freeze diced onions and celery. Presently, I'm wrapping green tomatoes in newspaper so they'll ripen in a box and I can still enjoy them into October.

Sandy Morris
Sandy Morris8 years ago

The Beauty Queen Chili sounds absolutely scrumptious. I too have often tried and have come up with some great dishes with carrots, tomatoes, onions, beans or whatever you have in your vegetable bin. My organic daughter-in-law will love this. Thanks for another great idea.

Tia P.
Tia P.8 years ago

I would imagine the fresh beet would turn the white beans an amusing shade of pink! And that the sweet potato disintegrates & thickens the sauce...?
More than once I've wondered what I could make for dinner with only carrots, tomatoes, onions, & a can of beans to work with - thanks for another idea.