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Get Cooking: Vegetarian Chili

May 17, 2010

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.

Vegetarian Chili

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.

Serve on some brown rice and top with a squirt of lemon juice and some cheddar cheese. I also recommend sour cream and cilantro if you have them on hand.

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! πŸ™‚

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 5:33 am

    I was dying for chili Sunday and I thought I was the only one who would eat it in the summertime. This recipe looks crazy good. I’m going to make it and freeze some so I can enjoy it over the next few months!

  2. May 18, 2010 5:35 am

    I never knew that about chili being eaten in warmer climates to ultimately cool you off. I will eat soups and chili throughout the year because I love them (and they are easy to make), but never noticed them having a cooling effect. I’ll have to pay more attention next time I make some. πŸ™‚

  3. May 18, 2010 7:37 am

    I don’t even notice when meat is missing from chili, because it’s so flavourful even without meat.

    I just ate chili for breakfast this morning! It had meat in it though – ground lamb. A bit fatty, but it gives a totally different taste than ground beef.

  4. May 18, 2010 8:28 am

    Mmmmmm….this sounds so good!! I love chilli year-round πŸ™‚ Call me crazy πŸ™‚

  5. May 18, 2010 12:27 pm

    Throw some Tostitos in there and I’m all over it! YUM!

  6. May 18, 2010 6:51 pm

    I love chili any time! Even when it’s 100 degrees out. This one looks really delicious loaded with all those healthy veggies and satisfying flavors!

  7. May 18, 2010 7:57 pm

    i love chili and yours looks great! i get wss too =)

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