Saturday, August 11, 2018

Vegetarian Chili with Home Grown Vegetables

I usually think of chili as something that pretty much comes from the pantry. My recipe used to be 1 onion, 1 garlic, 1 pepper, 1 pound ground meat or protein of some sort, 1 can beans, one can chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbs. chili powder. Everything (with the possible exception of the "meat") came out of the pantry. It was very quick and easy, but of course, nothing was home grown.

Here's how I make chili now:

Vegetarian Chili with Home Grown Vegetables

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • garlic or 1 elephant garlic, chopped
  • sweet bell pepper, any color, chopped
  • 3 cups dried beans, cooked (I use a mix of whatever is handy. Black beans, chick peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, cow peas, navy beans all work, and it's nice to have a different colors. I cook the beans in the pressure cooker.) If you don't have dried beans on hand, you can use 3 cans of beans instead.
  • 1 cup barley (or rice), cooked (again, I use the pressure cooker to speed things up)
  • a couple of jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 pound red tomatoes, blended, or 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and cumin and cook until the vegetables are soft. If you are very brave, you can add the jalapeno peppers at this point. Otherwise wait until the end, and add them a little bit at a time and taste frequently until you have the chili as spicy as you like.

Add the rest of the ingredients.  Heat to a simmer. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and more jalapenos, if you would like. Let the flavors blend for 20 minutes or throw into the crock pot for a couple of hours on low.

Serve over brown rice, or baked potatoes, if that sounds delicious to you. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, chopped chives, cilantro, grated cheese, or whatever suits your fancy.

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