Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vegetarian Chili

I've been craving chili lately and decided to make it tonight when I found an old chili recipe my mom sent me wayyy back in the day.

Alex was also much more willing to have some since my mom added a note to the recipe saying that this was veggie chili even she would eat (given that she's a meat eater). He also added ground turkey to his.

This chili is mostly beans and veg rather than soy. Next time I make it I might add a bit more chili powder or garlic to give it more of a kick though. And some corn, lime juice and cilantro might be a nice touch as well.

It's great garnished with fresh onion, a wee bit of fresh cheese, and since I was feeling indulgent today, I also added just a few fritos from a single serving bag we bought at a convenience store down the street. (Absolutely can't have leftover fritos hanging out!) It would have been better to add baked tortilla chips. That'll be my official recommendation!

Unless you want tons of leftovers, you could make just half the recipe. I went for the whole thing though since I didn't want to have half cans of beans leftover. I also used canned lentils instead of dry ones, and I wouldn't recommend that. They were too soft.

I also have to recommend the largest stock pot you have. I used what I thought was big enough, and it wasn't.

The recipe makes 12, count 'em, 12 servings at 5 points each and 260 calories. Plus whatever you use for garnish. Mine was 7 points per serving with the cheese and fritos. Still not bad!

Recipe Below:

Five-Bean Vegetarian Chili

2 tsp olive oil
2 med. onions, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1-12 oz. pkg dry lentils
1-16 oz. bag frozen black-eyed peas
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes w/puree
84 oz. water (3 tomato cans filled)
1-16 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1-16 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1-16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 tsp salt

In a large kettle, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook, stirring occassionally for 8-10 min. or until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.

While vegetables are cooking, pour the dry lentils into a colander and rinse thoroughly under water. Drain. Add the lentils and frozen black-eyed peas to the kettle, along with remaining ingredients.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 45 min.

Stir occassionally. Chili should be thick and rich. Season to taste. For spicier chili, add more chili powder or up to 1 tbsp hot sauce.

Flavor improves if refrigerated overnight. Add water if necessary when reheating.

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