Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Food for a Chili Winter

Excuse the terrible pun that is the title of this post. But since it has been so cold over the past few days pretty much all over the country, I thought I would share a recipe that might keep you a little warmer. This is my own recipe for vegetarian chili, although my brother refuses to acknowledge it as chili since it has no meat. So it's whatever you want to call it. If you read my blog, you already know why including more vegetarian food in your diet is better for the environment. If not, click here to find out some of the reasons.
The good thing about this recipe is you can add any type of vegetables you want. I don't add peppers to mine because I don't like them, but if you want to add them, go ahead. You can even add vegetarian meat crumbles like those from MorningStar Farms. Or if you want to leave out or substitute any of my vegetables, that works too. If you want to make your own diced tomatoes or use dried beans instead of canned beans, just make sure you use the same amount.

1 yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (diced)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cans of diced tomatoes (15 oz. each)
2 cups of water
1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
1 potato (peeled and diced into half inch cubes)
1 can of kidney beans (15 oz., rinsed and drained)
1 can of black beans (15 oz., rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup of corn
2 tbsp chili powder
1&1/2 tbsp cumin
My terrible chili picture
salt and pepper to taste
cornstarch and water for thickening

Then it's pretty easy to put together. Just follow these steps:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pan (medium heat). Add onions and
sauté about 5 minutes and add garlic. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add carrot, potato, and corn. Cook 5 minutes. (If you don't have a large pan you can do the first two steps in your pan, then transfer the ingredients to a large pot).
3. Add diced tomatoes, water, black beans and kidney beans. Stir all ingredients together. Then add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir again. Let the chili simmer for 30 minutes.
4. In a separate cup mix about 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup cornstarch and stir until smooth. Then stir the mixture into the chili to thicken it. This step might take some trial to get the chili to the right consistency. Stir the mixture in slowly; you may not need all of it.

Serve hot with sour cream and cheddar cheese, cornbread, tortilla strips, or whatever else you like. It can't make the weather warmer, but at least you can make a warm, eco-friendly meal.

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