Thursday, May 17, 2012

Indulge in vegetarian chili!

Technically, this recipe is not chili, since authentic chili consists of tomatoes, chili peppers and meat, but this is a fabulous alternative. This was the first batch of chili I've ever made in my life! I took for granted the kind my parents made together. I know they used a TON of spices and seasonings; my recipe is limited to what I had on hand. I hope you enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili

1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
3 red bell peppers, diced 
3 green bell peppers, diced (you could use any combo of bell peppers. I used organic ones, which are smaller than the standard, and I think organic ones are more flavorful)
3 15 oz cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with diced chili peppers
1 small can of diced chili peppers (optional!!!)
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes (I squished these into big chunks)
1 15 oz can tomato paste
Herbes de Provence
Ancho Chili powder
Sea salt

Heat a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil. I use olive oil but you can use vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic; saute until very lightly browned, then add the diced bell peppers. 
Saute, stirring occasionally, until bell peppers begin to soften. Add the diced tomatoes with chili peppers and the can of chili peppers (if using). 
Add the squished up whole tomatoes and the tomato paste, stirring to break up the paste.
Add maybe a tablespoon of the herbes de provence, and as much ancho chili powder you think you can tolerate. I used about 2 tsp, then added some later. Add sea salt as desired. 
Allow this to simmer for 15 minutes, then add the rinsed and drained kidney beans. Stir to thoroughly incorporate.
Taste the chili after about 5 minutes to see if you need to add any more seasonings/spices. I found I added a tad too much sea salt, so I added about 6 oz of water and one of those vegetarian Swanson vegetable broth flavor packets. It took the salt level down to a great level. I ended up adding more ancho chile powder too, but be careful! The longer the chili stews, the more the bite is brought out!
Allow the chili to simmer to 30 to 45 minutes. 

Serve over rice or with gluten free crackers or toasted gluten free bread. I'll add some gluten free roll recipes on here soon. I'm still fiddling with using chia seeds and flax seeds for breads. I think I prefer the chia seeds. Flax seed doesn't sit too well with me, and xanthan gum gives a weird texture to baked goods. 

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