Get Cooking: Vegetarian Chili
Chili is one of my favorite foods, and while I may seem to be suffering from WSS by eating it all summer, I really think chili is 100% summer appropriate.
There is a reason countries like India and Mexico have such spicy cuisine in hot climates. Eating jalapenos and sweating it out not only helps clear the sinuses, but cools you down. Make a meal hot enough and it feels like a good gym session, then the sweating cools the body as it evaporates. True story!
Toppings can be adjusted to be hot weather friendly. Add a squirt of lime juice or a spoonful of lemon-infused sour cream and suddenly what comforts you on a cold winter night becomes refreshing. A sprig of cilantro makes me think of salsa and margaritas. And cheese is a hands-down year-round food.
As I have clearly showcased my love for chili in the past, tonight I went all-veg. Definitely the fastest and easiest chili I have made, plus I got to use up some carrots and zucchini that were close to taking their last breath at the back of the fridge.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 red or green pepper (or both!), chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 can vegetable stock
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
Brown rice, lemon juice, and cheddar cheese to serve
Saute the onion and carrots in olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and pinto beans, and stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the zucchini and spices. Turn the heat to low. Stir, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn the heat up and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated enough to the consistency you like. I like my chili a bit on the thicker side.
Even Z, a perpetual meat-eater who has had to put up with a slew of vegetarian dishes recently, enjoyed this with some extra hot sauce (and went back for thirds!). It was the perfect meal after a serious session of begging my weekend of relaxation not to end. Also so easy to bulk up (extra veg, extra beans, extra tomatoes) to make it last a few days and have some really fun leftovers to work with! And, Monday is now over! 🙂