Homemade Veggie Chili

I eat mostly a plant-based diet most of the time, which means that occasionally I do eat a little meat and dairy, generally whenever I really feel my body craving it. It feels wrong to me to be ultra rigid in my food choices so its plants preferably but if that can’t be done for whatever reason, I will do my best.

One thing that I love about this chili is that traditionally, the chilis I have made in the past have always included mincemeat – not anymore and the best thing is I think the dish is better without it!

Ingredients and Method

Stage 1 – Get the basics on

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

Put a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and when hot, add the oil.

Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and half of the salt. Combine well and stir occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent. This takes about 10 minutes.

Stage 2 – Spice it up

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Stage 3 – Add the meat (aka the beans!)

  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g tins of black or adzuki beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 400g tin of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus more for garnishing
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Garnishes: more coriander, sliced avocado, chopped nuts and seeds or some cheese if vegan is not your thing

Add the chopped tomatoes, the drained black beans and pinto beans, and the water and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn off the heat.

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Stage 4 – Finish & serve

For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 ½ cups of the chili to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Or, you can blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender.

Add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend, and then mix in the lime juice, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added ¼ teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the fridge for about 4 days.

Even the hardiest carnivores will enjoy this hearty and warming dish. It’s especially good when the weather is cold outside.

Enjoy,

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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