As a card-carrying omnivore, this is the only vegetarian chili I’ve made that’s been worthy of a post. Even my dad – who “has to have” his meat – enjoyed this chili.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m an avid omnivore. While meat represents a small percentage of my food pyramid, I love meat and appreciate it deeply. A perfectly cooked steak, strips of bacon, the crackly skin of a just-out-of-the-oven broiled chicken – all make me close my eyes and smile with quiet joy. Knowing all that, you might be shocked that I’m posting a vegetarian recipe for chili. Well, with all the above being said, I also love my veggies. A coarsely salted roasted brussel sprout, the juicy leaves of garlicky stir fried kale, and the often overlooked baked potato are a few of my favorites. Eating a huge bowl of vegetables is wonderful for your mind and body, so what better way to do that than in a chili.
While I don't claim this to be a “legit” chili recipe (I can hear hollering from the South that no self-respecting chili has beans), it is a form of chili. If this country is allowed to bastardize Chinese food and call it “Chinese" food, then I have the right to call this chili. Your turn, Counsel.
In addition to the health benefits of eating lots of vegetables, my lazy cooking brain loves how easy it is to make. After washing the vegetables, all you do is dice, turn up the heat, and then eat. It really is as simple as that.
1 small onion
Garlic – as few or as many cloves as you like
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
3 celery stalks
1 package of mushrooms
Dried oregano (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Dried basil (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Chili powder, a few pinches
1 small can corn (unsalted)
2 small cans of beans (I like kidney, cannellini, butter)
2 small cans chopped tomatoes (fresh tomatoes work great, of course)
Salt and Pepper
Dice the garlic, chop the onion, and add them to a pot on medium high heat with a little bit of oil. As that is heating up, dice the celery, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms and stir them into the pot as you dice them up. Mix in the spices. Then add all of the rinsed, canned vegetables to the pot. Stir and bring the chili to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.