Monday, April 22, 2013

Vegetarian Chili Step By Step

It's colder than it should be outside. And after last week we need all the warmth we can and out of the kitchen. Here is an easy and delicious recipe to gather everyone around the table. 

The list of ingredients is much longer than the directions for making it, but you probably have most of them in your cupboard. This makes a lot, so put a pint or so in the freezer and take it out when you need a fast taco filler. You'll be happy to have some stashed away.

Everyone has a favorite way to serve chili. I'd love to hear how you do it. When I was a kid, we had it over elbow noodles with grated cheese. Nowadays, I like to serve it with brown rice (or even better black or red), corn bread and any or all(!) of the following: 
Avocado or guacamole, grated cheddar cheese, plain yogurt, sour cream, salsa, sriracha, cubed mango, diced scallions.

Here's all you do:
                 Soften onions in olive oil.

                              Chop carrots.

                           Add to onions.

                              Chop red pepper.

                      Add to pan.

                      Add spices.

          Cook on low heat for 3 minutes.

                    Add tomatoes.

                      Add beans.

                         Add corn.

                     Almost done...

                Add baked beans.

    Stir in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
               Cook for 30 minutes.


A few more notes: 
I like to get the onions softening immediately, so I start cooking those and then I chop the other vegetables.

The chili thickens over time, so right after cooking it’s a lot soupier than it will be the next day. And, of course, use any variety of beans you choose. I like the taste and color combination of the black beans with the kidney and baked beans. Don't forget the vinegar. It gives the chili an added punch. 

Corn note: Of course fresh is best, but out of season GOOD canned corn is better than old frozen corn. (I recently learned frozen corn is one of those things you really can't keep forever.)

Vegetarian Chili Step By Step (serves 8)

Printable recipe here.

2 tbls. olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 carrots, peeled
1  red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced after center stalk is removed
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 tbls. chili powder
1 tbl. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 x 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cups corn, fresh, frozen or canned, drained or not. (The liquid from the can is yummy, but you may not want the extra liquid.)
1 can vegetarian baked beans 
1 tbl. red wine vinegar
salt to taste
optional: 1 tbl. chili paste with garlic

First get the onions started. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in onions. When you hear a sizzle, turn heat down to medium low. Meanwhile, dice the carrots and stir them into the onions. Cook, covered, over low heat until onions are completely soft, up to 10 minutes. (Or longer is fine.)

Cut both ends off the red pepper, cut into half and remove the seeds and stem. Cut into thin strips and then dice. Stir in red pepper and garlic and raise heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Add black pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Stir over low heat for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in remaining ingredients, including optional chili paste if using, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I've been cutting back the meat in my chili recipe lately. I wonder if I'll ever feel ready to go full-on veg. Hard to say. I'm a meaty chili lover.

I tend to serve chili as is. I love having cheese and tortilla chips on top, but it kind of counteracts my desire to reduce the size of my waistline. Once I start in on tortilla chips, I don't stop. I'll eat the entire bowl scooped on chips instead of by spoon (Might as well just make nachos).

I've always wanted to try it over spaghetti though. I need a Cincinnati trip.

freshly found said...

I definitely want to give this a try. Looks so yummy!

Anonymous said...

Adding baked beans is a wonderful idea -- gives it long-cooked flavor without too much cooking time.

Sue said...

Hi Rach,
You can definitely add some meat to this. Just brown up some cubed chuck before you soften the vegetables and proceed with the recipe to make it a meat chili. Meat can take more spice, so add another tablespoon of chili powder.

I don’t know why as kids we had chili served over elbow noodles, but it’s good! Spaghetti would be weird and SO hard to eat.

HI!!! I thought that might be you! How are you? I hope things are good in Durban and everyone is well. Your website looks fabulous.

You’ll love this recipe. It’s my all-time favorite chili – meat or not…

You are so right! I knew there was a reason I added them.

Sheila said...

Its supposed to snow Wed-Fri here. Its May. Not Cool. Well, too cool. Chili is sounding mighty fine!

Sue said...

That's not fair! I'm really sorry for you and I won't tell you what a glorious spring day it is here (for once). This chili will be perfect though.

Good luck! Get your men to do the shoveling!

Emily said...

I personally love old frozen corn.

Sometimes I buy canned cream corn for cornbread. Do you ever do that? THIS LOOKS AMAZING! I love you. I mostly eat vegetarian, and I really want to make this.

Sue said...

You're funny. I almost added old frozen corn until I tasted it. ICK! I don't add creamed corn to cornbread, but how could that be bad?

No, I love YOU and you WILL love this chili.