Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vegan/Vegetarian Chili

Now that it's getting chillier outside, I think it's appropriate to start making soups again. My second soup of the season (after the vegetarian French onion soup) is Emeril's vegan chili.  The exact recipe can be found here

Like all great recipes, this one starts off by sauteing onions and garlic in oil.  Bell pepper and hot peppers are also thrown in at this point.  

Chili is essentially made by adding things to a pot. It can't get much easier than that.  After the onions and peppers soften, add zucchini, corn, and mushrooms.  I used fresh zucchini and mushrooms and frozen corn. 

After that cooks, the next set of ingredients to add includes diced tomatoes and spices.  I used a mixture of fresh and canned tomatoes. The spices, centered around chili powder, of course, are chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. 

The final additions are black beans (and lots of them!), vegetable stock, and tomato sauce. Bring the chili to a boil, and then let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.  The longer the chili cooks,the more developed the flavors will become.

You can use either canned beans or prepared dried beans.  I used dried beans for the first time ever.  They are a fraction of the cost of canned beans and lower in sodium, but take some preparation.  They must be either soaked overnight or briefly boiled and soaked for an hour or two.  Make sure you properly soak your beans if you are using dried ones.  I did not soak mine long enough, so they had a bit of a crunch to them.

Despite the texture issue with the beans, this chili was great.  I have made it before with canned beans, and both are equally tasty.  This chili freezes well and couldn't be better for you.  It's nothing but beans and vegetables!

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