Meatless Menu Item: Vegas Chili

A warm bowl of chili is a great solution for a cold winter night. Having a well-balanced diet is important in maintaining your health. Whether you are already vegan, or just looking to add a few meatless meals to your weekly menu, this vegan chili recipe is a healthy option that is packed full nutritious veggies that will satisfy any palate.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 extra-large onion, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cups other diced veggies -zucchini or summer squash, winter squash, sweet potato, parsnips (or feel free to use more carrots and peppers)
6 fat cloves of garlic, rough chopped
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder for heat (or sub 1 teaspoon smoked paprika) or add both!
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
⅛  teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 cans diced tomatoes, with juices, or 3 ½ cups fresh tomatoes, diced (with juices)
3 x 14-ounce cans beans – any assortment of black, pinto, kidney or chickpeas, white beans, etc. (drain and rinse) about 4.5 cups cooked beans.
¼ cup of water
2–3 teaspoons soy sauce or GF Liquid Amino’s (or sub salt to taste, miso paste, or even umami paste)
2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder, or one square of dark chocolate (optional, but good!)
Garnishes – avocado, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil

Directions

  1. Small dice the onion, carrots (unpeeled) and celery, and place in a large dutch or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Chop the rest of the veggies and the garlic and add to the pot, season with ½ teaspoon salt and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until veggies are just tender, stirring occasionally. I turned up the heat to med-high for a bit, then back down. Getting a little browning in the pot is good.
  3. While this happening, line up your spices, rinsed and drain the beans. If using fresh tomatoes, dice them saving the juices.
  4. When the veggies are just tender add the spices – chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, optional chipotle powder and/or smoked paprika, cinnamon. Toast the spices in the pot for 1-2 minutes to bring their flavors forward. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), water, and beans. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, stir, and then cover with a lid, and simmer gently on low heat, for 15 minutes.  Get your garnishes and bowls ready.
  5. Stir in soy sauce and chocolate, letting it melt if using chocolate squares. Taste, adjust, adding more soy for depth as needed. I added 3 teaspoons.
  6. Serve with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or for heartier eaters, a dollop of sour cream or even a little drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

Credit: Feasting at Home