I didn’t really intend to make this post on 9/11. It’s not very 9/11-ish. It’s about some really really good chili, and just happens to be posted today, on 9/11/13. 9/11 still breaks my heart. And on days like today, it’s nice to remember to ‘hug the ones you love’ just a little bit tighter.
People always claim their chili is ‘The Best In the World’. I won’t say this is the best chili in the world…but that’s only because I haven’t tried all of the chili in the entire world. But it is really really good. So that’s what I have named it.
Chock full of veggies and spices, it dances in your mouth with flavor and warms you up with a huge hug, which is exactly what I needed a few nights ago when I made it. Sick with the ‘let’s go back to school and share all of our germs’ upper respiratory crud, I needed something warm, full of nutrients, and spicy enough to have flavor over my stuffy nose.
I know this looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s really not complicated – the majority of them are spices. Just trust me here.
Really Really Good Vegetable Chili [Vegan/Gluten Free]
- 1 tablespoon oil of choice (or, omit if using a good nonstick pan)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 package mushrooms (or any other veggies you have on hand)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 a teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 + 1/2 cups of frozen corn (or one can)
- 2 cans of kidney beans, drained
- 1 can of black beans, drained
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, NOT drained
- Cilantro, rinsed well and chopped, to taste (I used about 1/3 a cup)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup salsa (any kind) (not fruity)
Let’s Make It:
1. Add the oil to a large stock pot, heat the oil (or the dry pan) until warm, but not smoking
2. Add: onion, garlic, green bell pepper, mushrooms, and any other vegetables you’re adding (but not the corn)
3. Let the vegetables sauté on medium high, stirring frequently, until they are soft and the onions are translucent. About 7 – 10 minutes. If they are starting to brown before getting soft, reduce the heat and stir more frequently
4. Add the spices (I went ahead and measured them into a bowl while I was sautéing the veggies): cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, cocoa powder, sriracha (optional), flax meal and salt
5. Stir well to cover the veggies in spicy awesomeness
6. Add next: corn, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes and cilantro, stir well
7. Add the vegetable broth and the salsa, stir well
8. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. To speed the process you can cover with a lid.
9. Serve warm with toppings of your choice: Tofutti sour cream, cheese (Nathan’s favorite!), crackers, ect.
10. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
11. Should freeze well! Although, I haven’t tried it with this recipe in particular.