Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chili

My husband was not to be home for dinner the other night, so as we were traveling and I was doing my meal plan, I asked my four year old what he'd like:  vegetarian chili, beef stew, or something with sweet potatoes.  He said he wanted chili, red chili.  So, I found a new red chili recipe to try.

I came across this one from Emeril on Ezra Pound Cake's blog, and her review made me want to try it for sure, in addition to the fact that Emeril's recipe came up in my initial search for vegetarian recipes as highly rated. 

First of all, I wish I had used my better judgment and used canned diced tomatoes instead of the December tomatoes from the store.  Hard as rocks and utterly devoid of flavor, they added little to the recipe.  Since I was cooking for Mr. "It's too spicy," I skipped the serrano pepper (the little sign in the grocery store said HOT!) in favor of some jarred sliced jalapenos I always have in the fridge.  I tossed in more than I might have otherwise, after he enjoyed a spicy to my palate Chicken Tamale Casserole into which I'd mixed sour cream.  He said he liked it at first, and then refused to eat it after about 10 bites.  Yes, seriously.

Anyway, this was REALLY good.  Not the typical chili recipe, but really good nonetheless.  I added lots to it in the way of toppings:  avocado, shredded Mexican cheese, and sour cream, and they were super yummy.

Vegetarian Chili Source:  Emeril Lagasse, via Ezra Poundcake
Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 3 small onions)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3T diced jarred jalapenoVeg
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 15-ounce cans of black beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (do not add to the pot if you’re planning to freeze chili)
  • Optional additions: cooked brown rice, sour cream, Greek yogurt, diced avocado, chopped scallions
  1. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes.
  6. Add the black beans, tomato sauce and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
  8. To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili over the rice, and top with whatever garnishes you choose. Serve immediately.

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