“So Earth-Friendly, Even a Vegan Will Eat It” Veggie Chili

14 Jan

vegan chili edited

Friends, as you know, I’m a fan of experimenting with vegetarian and vegan food. (Baking, more baking, pasta dishes, etc. )While I can’t say I’d go vegan for life (being engaged to a semi-carnivore makes that a bit complicated — love you, THT!), I’ve been working on incorporating a vegetarian diet more regularly into my life for the last 6 months or so. (See, this is what happens when you take a “blogging hiatus,” GKG. No one knows about these adventures! she said to herself…)

The verdict?

I love it! It’s a fresh, delicious, healthy way of eating. Especially for this veg-obsessed girl.

… even if it’s kind of difficult to maintain sometimes. Ultimately, one of life’s mysteries is learning to balance and roll with the punches, and with that in mind, I’ve become more of a “flexitarian” in practice. Fish? Yes. Red meat? Rarely, unless it’s what THT cooks for dinner. Chicken? Samesies as red meat. Tofu? Awwww yeah.

With those challenges in mind, I decided to try out an experiment: Could I make a hearty, tasty chili that incorporated my love of veggies, legumes and the like, while also keeping the dish hearty enough for my meat-loving fiance?

As Barney Stinson would say, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

This Vegan Chili became vegan kind of by accident. As we were noshing on hefty bowls of it at supper, I realized that I could stamp this recipe with a notice: “No animals, nor any of their products, were remotely affected in any way by the cooking of this recipe.” Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian, or have no idea what any of those terms even mean, you’ll find something to like about a bowl full of this chili. Happy eating!

Vegan Veggie Chili

Serves 4; easily doubled or halved

photo 2

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (equivalent to 1/2 a large white onion)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 28-0z can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-0z can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 additional cup of any of the following:
    • broccoli florets
    • diced zucchini or yellow squash
    • par-cooked diced sweet potato or red potato (nuke in the microwave for 10 mins before adding to chili)
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn (or more if desired)
  • Shredded vegan cheese (or dairy cheese, if you’re not vegan) for serving

Here’s What You Do:

  • In a large soup pot, stock pot or Dutch oven, head olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add spices and stir thoroughly to incorporate (if you’d like your chili to have less heat, add spices with the beans).
  • Stir in tomatoes; cook down for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the chili to thicken a bit. Add beans and additional veggies. Reduce heat to  medium-low and cover; cook from 20 additional minutes or up to an hour.
  • Just before serving, stir in frozen sweet corn. (The frozen corn will thaw almost immediately from the chili’s temperature.) Serve in hefty bowls with cheese and brown rice, if desired.

Do you folks ever whip up a vegan entree for supper? What are your favorite veg-friendly dishes? Ever use tofu, beans or other alternate sources of protein? Share away!

P.S. If you’re interested in vegan or vegetarian dishes, try these recipes: Veggie pastas, this veggie torte, these veggie pizzasand these veggie burgers.

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