I’ve been sitting on this post a while, but I’ve also been hiding from the Internet as much as I can when I’m not at work. Without going too much into it, I think we can all agree that the online world has become somewhat exhausting in recent weeks, so despite my determination to recover from the recipe-posting laziness that kicked in over the summer, I just needed to take my time with this next post.
On the bright side, this chili might be just what we all need — comfort food amid hectic times. I find myself making some variation of a vegetarian chili at least once each year as the fall and winter kick in — because I don’t eat beef, I don’t eat “traditional” chilis anyway and I often cook vegetarian meals because I find them convenient. Now I know there are people out there who don’t believe meatless chilis count as “chili,” but don’t get hung up on the name. This is a nice hearty meal, warm and wonderful on a chilly night, easily dressed up with some toppings of choice.
I relied on some instructions/techniques from a couple of different chili recipes to put this batch together, but it consists of the ingredients I’ve normally relied on to make veggie chilis in the past — assorted beans, some diced vegetables and frozen corn, plus a bit of espresso powder to help deepen the flavor. Take a look below:
- Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels (let them thaw slightly)
- 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1. Warm the oil until it's shimmering in a large Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot and salt. Let the vegetables cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time until the veggies are tender and the onion is translucent.
- 2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and espresso powder. Stir all the ingredients for about a minute, then add the crushed tomatoes, black beans and kidney beans, followed by the broth and the corn kernels.
- 3. Stir to combine all the ingredients, then let the contents of the pot come to a simmer. Let the chili cook for about 30 minutes while simmering, stirring occasionally.
- 4. Remove the chili from the heat, toss in the chopped cilantro, squeeze a little lime juice over it and stir. You may need to add a little more salt to taste.
- 5. Garnish with toppings of choice like shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
Song Pairing: Seu Jorge, “O Astronauta De Marmore – Starman”
OK, I’ll admit I’m being a little influenced by the concerts I attend in the song pairings lately — I was fortunate enough to catch Seu Jorge perform his songs from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou soundtrack last week during a concert that also paid tribute to David Bowie and this song has been stuck in my head since the morning of the show. But how can an acoustic rendering of a familiar song sung in Portuguese not resonate while stuffing your face with some comfort food? If you haven’t heard Jorge’s Bowie covers, you’re in for a treat…