Thursday, June 12, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

I recently ventured into the world of homemade vegetarian chili. To start, I based my recipe off of the whole foods website recipe for vegetarian chili, but I changed some things (I forgot garlic, and as much as I like the stuff, it was fine) and made it more general.

As a side note, I've been trying to make basic things from scratch (recipes for bread and stuff coming soon). I don't usually measure things out when I cook, I just sort of eyeball it with the idea that good ingredients with thoughtful preparation will yield a good enough product, or at least a good and edible learning experience. Things have turned out well, so I guess it's a decent approach. Without further ado . . .

TOTAL COST: about $25
MAKES: enough servings to feed you and a few roommates or guests for a couple days at least, plus you'll have leftover fresh veggies.
TIME: 1-2 hours, but you will be able to check facebook while shit's cookin'.

About 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
About 2 qt. crunchy veggies. I use:
    2 Stalks Celery
    1 Carrot
    1 Onion
    1/2 Green Pepper
    1/2 Red Pepper
2 x 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
Spices. If in doubt, buy a new, full container. I use half of a McClanahan's container of cumin in a single batch. I use:
    Cumin (Sort of essential)
    Chili Powder (Again, sort of essential)
    Sea Salt
    Red/Cayenne Pepper (some like it hot)
Beans, etc. I use:
    1 x 15 oz. can kidney beans
    1 x 15 oz. can black beans
    1 x 15 oz. can corn
    1 x 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

PROCEDURE (sorry, I was a chemistry major)

Combine olive oil and crunchy veggies (chopped finely or to your desired chunkiness) in a big pot. Mix well and apply low to medium heat until veggies are somewhat softened but nowhere near brown. Add canned tomatoes (include juice) and spices (munch on some of the mix as you're adding them to make sure you like it that way). Heat a little more (low to medium) until it's bubbling just a bit and starts to look like chili. Add beans and stuff. Cook until beans are soft enough that you're happy (I usually eat a few chickpeas . . . once they're not crunchy anymore, you're probably good).

Serve, share, refridgerate or freeze leftovers. Add some cheese (I'm a die-hard mozzarella guy) if you're not vegan and so inclined. Freshly baked bread (recipe coming soon, I swear) goes well also. Drink some milk if you overdid the cayenne pepper. Leftovers are probably good for burritos and stuff, though I've yet to muster the energy to do anything but scarf them down cold.