August 26, 2009

Vegetarian Chili

I'm not a person who enjoys monotony when it comes to eating.  There are plenty of foods that I think I would like to eat every day, such as carnitas in any form from Chipotle, the cobb salad at Salut, anything from Topolobampo, good bread and cheese, bagels with cream cheese, Danish nut roll ice cream from Sebastian Joe's, bacon, and fresh raspberries, but if it came down to it I know that I would be absolutely miserable if I had to eat the same thing day after day after day.  I need a little variety in my life.  Not to mention the fact that that's kind of a long list, and I would be spending a great deal of time shoveling food into my mouth.  Give me a few years on that diet and I'd have my own show on TLC where a crane has to be brought in to hoist my body out of my bed.  I'd rather not have to be transported by heavy machinery, unless, of course, I am joyriding it, so I have to exercise a little self control and spread out the consumption of the foods I love. 

I should probably change the name of my "List of Things That I Want to Eat Every Single Day of My Life For as Long as I Live" to the more mundane "List of Things That I Wouldn't Mind Eating on a Regular Basis."  Along with all of the aforementioned items, I should add chili to the list.  I would get sick of chili if it were the exact same bowl of tomatoes and beans every day, but if I had the opportunity to eat some variation of it a few times a week I just might be able to handle it.  When I was in elementary school, chili day was the one day when I was certain to bring my lunch card and eat school lunch.  Unfortunately I did not fully appreciate the school lunch burritos until high school, and if I could turn back time I would have taken advantage of them during those 8 years of elementary and middle school.  They'd be added to the list, too.

What's on your list?

I've posted a few chili recipes on here, but this is the first vegetarian-friendly one.  You could certainly add meat to it if you're so inclined, but I don't think you'll miss it.  Feel free to improvise, too.  We used four different kinds of beans for a little variety, but if you have something against garbanzos or great northerns you should a) stop being so weird, b) leave them out, or c) give beans a chance.  Ha! 

Vegetarian Chili
Serves 8-10*

2-3 jalepenos
1 yellow onion
3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stalks
1 red or green pepper
4-15oz. cans beans (kidney, garbanzo, great northern, cannelli...)
2-28oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth**
1 zucchini
1 yellow summer squash
2+ tbsp chili powder
2+ tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

*This should serve 8-10 hungry people.  It should also freeze well.  I like to freeze soups/chili in plastic baggies with individual servings for convenient defrosting.  

**You could also use water if you do not have broth.  Or beer.  Or any combination of the three.

Start by chopping up all of the veggies.  With the jalepenos you can leave in as much of the spicy stuff as you want.  I scraped most of it out because my mom is kind of a weenie.  Although this picture leads you to believe otherwise we used two jalepenos and one little yellow guy that was growing in the backyard.  

Dice the peppers into pretty small pieces. 

Chop the onion.  If you have a larger onion you can reserve a little for sprinkling on top of the chili at the end.  

This is celery.  If you have a similar looking thing in front of you, chop it.  

Chop the carrots and the pepper.  Size does not really matter.  At least not too much.  Or so they say.  

Throw all of the beans into a colander and rinse them well.  You don't want any of that gelatinous goo going into your pot of chili.  I bet that made you really hungry.  


Heat a little oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the celery onion, peppers, and carrots.  Let them all cook for a few minutes, and then add the chili powder and cumin.  I usually go a little easy on the spices at the beginning and then keep dumping them in as I go along.  Therefore, I really have no idea what the final amounts are.  Taste and adjust.  Taste and adjust.  

Once the veggies are softening up a little, add the cans of tomatoes.  

Then add the broth.  

Let the chili simmer away while you chop the zucchini and squash.  

When you're getting fairly close to eating time, go ahead and add the squash.  

Add the beans at the same time. 

Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Let it simmer for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.  Additional time won't really hurt it, aside from the squash getting a little mushy.  

Serve with chopped onions, grated cheddar, sour cream, oyster crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, rice, pasta, or anything else you might possibly want.  

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Blogger - Nicholas.Eoin - said...

I want.

August 26, 2009  

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