My Favorite Awesome Veggie Chili

ChiliPost

The forecast is calling for snow showers tonight! If Facebook is any indication, it would seem that the entire world is over winter except for me. Maybe it’s because my hot weather sweat-like-a-pig look is rarely flattering, or simply my enduring adoration for all things cozy, but I really love Maine winters.

Especially when there’s snow.

And even more when there is chili!

I love this chili. Seriously…ask anyone who’s ever been invited to my house for dinner between the months of September and May (I feed it to everyone!). It’s super fast and easy, hearty & warming, vegetarian/vegan (depends on toppings), easily organic, inexpensive, really healthy (can anyone say “complete protein”?), and it makes a TON (and freezes really well!).

I love it so much, it’s what I made for our film gathering:

Cuppa Photography : Branding Film from Inkspot Crow Films on Vimeo.

So…

A few notes:

~ I carry on a torrid love affair with my slow-cooker and choose to make this recipe there. If you’d prefer to go stovetop, simply dump all of your ingredients into a big ol’ pot and there you go! While it would technically be ready as soon as it was heated through, it’s tastier if you give the ingredients a little time to blend flavors…I would simmer on the stovetop at least 30 min if you aren’t crunched for time.

~ If you are a committed locavore and fall as in love with this recipe as I did, when this season’s summer produce comes around, I suggest roasting some peppers and onions on the grill, giving them a chop, and freezing them into packets to dump straight into this. Same for corn. Same for canning or freezing tomatoes! Also, if you are so inclined, dried local beans can be cooked up in a huge batch (again, slow-cooker to the rescue!) and then frozen into glass canning jars! For the recipe below, I will be assuming that everyone would need to head to the grocery store…

~ If you have a Trader Joe’s handy, they have some ingredients that are particularly well-suited to this chili…if I buy canned beans, we always use the organic beans from Trader Joe’s.

~ I’m not super precise when it comes to the spices (my apologies!)…I toss in a good pinch and add more to taste as I go!

My Favorite Awesome Veggie Chili:

Dump all of the following into a large slow-cooker:

2 cans black beans
1 can kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can garbanzo beans (drained & rinsed)
2 cans vegetarian baked beans
2 cans chopped/diced tomatoes (we like the organic fire-roasted ones from Trader Joe’s)
1 bag frozen corn (easy to find organic!)
1 bag frozen pepper/onion fajita stir-fry mix (again, we like the organic fire-roasted ones from Trader Joe’s)
2 cloves chopped garlic (or the jarred equivalent)
Liquid smoke (small splash…a tsp or so?)
Chili powder (lots…we use traditional, ancho, and chipotle)
Cayenne pepper
Smoked paprika
Turmeric (a good dash…it’s good for you)
Cinnamon (just a bit)
Cumin (we love cumin!)
Oregano
Parsley
Basil

Cook in your slow cooker for ~2 hours on high or ~6 hours on low.

I love to top this with a little shredded jack cheese, sour cream, and chopped fresh cilantro and serve with homemade cornbread!

I hope this helps warm you up when you come in from playing in the snow!!

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