Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/True Vegetarian Vegan Chili

I've told this story before, so forgive me if you've heard it ;)

A number of years ago, I made a pot of traditional chili, with meat. Now I love a spicy dish, but if it's too hot for me, no one in my household will be able to eat it. This chili was REALLY hot, even for me! For the life of me, I don't know how I convinced myself that the spiciness of the dish was a matter of mind over matter. If I acted like it was fine, no one else would notice. I don't know, maybe the overly hot chili had given me a momentary lapse in saneness ;)

So, when dinner time rolled around, I served up the chili. I sat down and began to eat it as though there wasn't a pepper in it. After a few minutes, my exchange student, who was from the Canary Islands, and did not like spicy food, said, "I'm sorry Rhonda, but this is just too hot!" My husband then chimed in and said that he thought it was just him and then asked if I thought it was hot. I admitted that it was extremely hot, but I thought they wouldn't notice. He said, "Not notice!!! How can you not notice when your mouth is on fire???" I have yet to live that story down :)

I do love a bowl of chili, but, since I no longer eat meat, I want a truly vegetarian bowl, no fake meat, just vegetables. The recipe I'm sharing today has a couple of secret ingredients.

For this chili, you'll begin with a large chopped onion sauteed in oil, along with 1 tablespoon of minced ginger. The smell will be heavenly.

Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 chopped bell peppers. I used an orange and a yellow pepper, but green will do just fine.

Now, this is where it begins to turn into chili...
Add 3 teaspoons of good chili powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and 2 teaspoons of paprika. Allow to saute on low for about 5 minutes. 

At this point, add 2, 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes(I like fire-roasted tomatoes), and 3, 14.5 oz cans of your favorite beans, drained and rinsed. I used garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and small northern beans. Besides the ginger, the other little secret ingredient is a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce which you will add at this point. 

Allow the mixture to simmer for at least 30 minutes. 

I like to make a pot of bulgar, which is cracked wheat to serve with my chili. Serve up a bowl of the chili and then add a mound of bulgar on top. Delicious! You could also make a pot of your favorite rice rather than the bulgar. I just really love bulgar :)

True Vegetarian Chili With a Twist

1 large onion chipped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
2 bell peppers chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 14.5 oz. cans of beans, pinto, garbanzo, and small northern beans drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste 

Place oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and ginger. Saute over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add garlic and bell peppers. Saute another 5 minutes until peppers are tender. Add chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir well to combine. Saute for about 2 minutes to begin to release flavors.

Add dice tomatoes, the 3 cans of rinsed beans, the chipotle pepper, and the adobo sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on a low fire for 30 minutes, or longer. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle into bowls. A mound of cooked bulgar, or cooked rice of your choice makes a nice accompaniment. 

As always, if you give the recipe a try, I hope you enjoy it. Don't leave out the fresh ginger! It really adds a lovely flavor. As for the adobo sauce, it can be a bit spicy, so put in a tablespoon of the sauce, and give it a try before you add the second.


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Monday, February 4, 2019