bits and pieces

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Best Ever Vegetarian Chili

Homemade vegetarian chili. Somewhere under there.
All you can see is cheeeese.
I've been laying pretty low the last few weeks as I've been struggling to get on track with work, adjust to being back in Canada, working most saturdays, and reconfiguring general life goals. It's been busy.

I know I've been cooking but I haven't been feeling too experimental. I've been eating a lot of comfort food and boring things like fish and rice. I've never really found a chili recipe that clicked for me - but I love the idea of chili. It's like north american curry. Vegetables, tomatoes, lentils and spices. All things good.

I was bored a few weeks ago and clicking around looking for chili recipes and after reading a few, decided to take a run at making my own 'everything and the kitchen sink' chili. This is it. It is great. I have no idea what it is that makes it so great but it is. Add whatever you like but do not leave out the mushrooms. I know they're not a traditional part of a chili (or at least I don't think so) but they're SO good. The cheese is optional but makes it super delicious, and way,way less healthy.

2 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp cumin
½ tbsp chili powder
½ tbsp oregano
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup of black beans
1 cup of navy beans
2 cups of cremini mushrooms, diced
1 tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
½ cup of water
½ cup of diced cheese (optional)
Crumpled crackers, pretzels, sesame sticks or fritos to put on top for that crunch factor (optional but definitely awesome)

Other things you will need:
A wooden spoon
Choppin’ knife, cutting board
a big ol' pot

  1. In your big ol' pot, add olive oil and heat over medium. In one corner of your pot - add the spices. In the opposite corner (I know circles don't have corners but work with me here), add the onions and garlic. Allow your spices to toast for a minute or so, and then stir all together.
  2. Add in your celery and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, mushrooms, tomato, can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25-30 minutes. Most of the water-tomato should be cooked down. Taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary - if it needs more *something* and you don't know what that is -add oregano and a big pinch of salt.
  4. Ladle out and stir in a few pieces of cheese with each serving. Top with your crunch and eat. You will now eat this 3 days in a row. Possibly on top of french fries.

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