A Simple and Delicious Vegetarian Chili That Cooks While You're at Work
Chili is always a winner. If you're trying to cut back on meat or get your kids to eat more veggies, maybe you're thinking a vegetarian chili is the way to go. And finding a delicious recipe that lets you use your Crock-Pot is a winner for mom, too.
While the flavors are reminiscent of Mexican cuisine, chili is actually an American dish born in the Southwest, and possibly San Antonio, Texas, according to What's Cooking America. It's not clear when chili was first made, but the earliest mentions of this spicy stew indicate it was primarily cooked by those with limited financial means, using the spicy pepper as a way to stretch out the meat.
Chili may have a traditional foundation, but there is no single American chili recipe. In Illinois, for example, chili is spelled "chilli" and is made with canned tomato sauce, chili powder and hot sauce. And while the chili made in Cincinnati contains meat and chili pepper, the recipe has a Mediterranean influence and is flavored with allspice, paprika, cinnamon and chocolate. Beans may be in your chili recipe, there are no beans in traditional Texas chili known as Texas red.
This recipe uses a variety of beans to add a more flavor and heartiness.
Total Time: 6 to 7 hours | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6
- 28-ounce diced canned tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can white beans
- 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- In a 6- to 8-quart Crock-Pot, add all the ingredients. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
If you'd like to eat your chili sooner, cook on high heat for half the time.
Add lima beans and diced carrots for extra veggies. Try some of flavorings found in some of the regional chili recipes, such as paprika, allspice or canned tomato sauce, to make this recipe your own.
This chili is delicious on its own, but for a complete meal, serve over cooked couscous or brown rice.
The beans in this dish add texture and flavor, not to mention protein. But traditional chili is made with meat only. If you'd like to keep this dish vegetarian but add a little "meatiness," try textured vegetable protein, or TVP, which is a dried soy protein. TVP is flavorless and takes on the flavor of the seasonings used in your chili. It's also a complete source of protein, so it adds all the essential amino acids found in ground meat or turkey.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.