Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

My family loves chili, and we have it often.  It is relatively inexpensive, easy to make and very filling...all good things when planning my weekly dinner menu.  I got a little tired of the way I normally make chili.  Also, I have to make 2 pots, one big for the meat-eaters and one small for my vegetarian.  That gets kind of old, so I decided to make it with a few twists and tweaks to update it and bring it more to life.

It's very easy.  Here's what you need:

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15.25oz can black beans
1 16 oz can kidney beans
1 15.5 oz can navy beans (or white beans)
1 15.25 oz can of corn
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (or 1 small can diced jalapenos, hot; you might start off with 1/2 can and then add more to taste)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 packet chili seasoning, hot or mild to taste
1 1/2 C water
a little salt and pepper to taste

It seems like a long list, but it's half canned stuff, and the rest is very basic that you probably have on hand.  I don't know if the tomato paste changed the flavor that much or not.  You can make that optional.  I haven't worked with tomato paste enough to know how much to use and when.  I just thought it might give the diced tomatoes more of a prominent flavor in the mix.

1.  Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat.
2.  Cook the onions until they are starting to get golden.
3.  Add in the jalapenos and cook just a little more.
4.  Add in the tomato paste and diced tomatoes.
5.  Add in the garlic powder, ground red pepper and chili seasoning.  Mix well.
6.  Add 1 1/2 C water.  Stir it up.
7.  Add in all the beans and corn.  Mix well.
8.  Cover and heat over medium heat until heated through.  If there is too much water for your liking, just take off the lid and cook it for a while, letting it evaporate.  Conversely, add more if you need it.

I served mine topped with shredded cheese and a little dollop of sour cream, and there was cornbread, too.  Those toppings and bread add a lot of calories and carbs quickly, so be careful on your portions.  It was so amazingly delicious.  It wasn't so far out there that it was weird, but it was enough of a change that it was a needed and welcomed change for the better.  I like this one way more than my old chili.  And, I only had to use one pot because it's already vegetarian.  I didn't miss the beef one little bit.  The beans and corn were so satisfying.  The jalapeno and ground red pepper gave it a little kick.  As for the onion and garlic...who doesn't like that combo??? 

My kids and husband loved it.  My husband said, "Now, you can make this again!"

There are about 10 servings of 1 cup, maybe a smidge more or less depending on the amount of water you use.  The nutritional values are really good for this too.  I thought the carb count would be a lot higher because of all the beans, but it was much better than I thought.  There are:  163 calories, 2.3g fat, 578.8mg sodium, 470mg potassium, 28g carbs, 8.9g fiber, 8.9g protein. (4 Points Plus)

I hope you enjoy this easy vegetarian chili recipe.  I think you'll like it!

Merry Eating!
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