Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

The weather outside has been crazy these last few days. Welcome to November in Toronto. It's pink skies one minute and hurricane winds the next. When the air gets chilly I love cozying up to a nice comforting bowl of something piping hot.

Last night I opted to make one of my favourite comfort foods- chili! As a conscious flexitarian, I try to make vegetarian meals whenever possible. As such, I decided to cut the meat on this one but go full flavour. The result is this foolproof hearty chili that has just the right amount of heat, and is full of delicious vegetables and beans.

This one pot dish saves you on time, clean-up, doubles as lunch the next day AND the carnivores in your family will be so satisfied, they won't even notice that something was missing.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Hearty Vegetarian Chili
Preparation time: 15 minutes Total time: 35 minutes

1 540 mL can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 540 mL can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 398 mL can of refried beans
1 can of corn kernals or 1 cup of frozen corn kernals
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green chili, minced (optional)
1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
1 540 mL can of diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup of tomato paste or tomato sauce
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of chili flakes
2 tablespoons of chili seasoning (I use Old El Paso)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin powder
salt to taste
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
grated habanero or cheddar cheese to garnish

Step One Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven on medium heat and add the onion, garlic and green chili, stirring intermittently to keep the vegetables from sticking
Step Two Add the hard root vegetables (carrots, celery) and allow to partially cook (about 5 minutes) before adding the bell peppers
Step Three Continue to stir the pot and add the chili seasoning, chili flakes, ground cumin powder and salt, stir the ingredients to evenly distribute the seasoning
Step Four Add the kidney beans, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, corn and stir, allowing these vegetables to heat through
Step Five Add the tomato sauce and stir to incorporate it into the vegetables
Step Six Add the vegetable or chicken stock and the refried beans to give the chili a thicker consistency
Step Seven Allow the chili to simmer on low heat for about 10-12 minutes
Step Eight Portion into bowls and garnish with grated cheese, green onions, cilantro and or plain greek yogurt

I served this vegetarian chili with focaccia dippers- sliced rosemary focaccia lengthwise and toasted the pieces on a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.

How do you serve chili at home? Let me know what you pair with this one pot meal in the comments below!

Bon Appetite!

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