Thursday, 11 March 2010

Vegetarian Chili

Chili is one of the fastest meals to make if you use canned beans and tomatoes. I have made it with ground meat, chunks of chicken breast, soy crumbles, but like it this way the best. I have used chili seasoning mixes in the past but due to their high sodium content, prefer to do my own spice mixture. This time I accidently put a teaspoon of cinnamon in instead of chili powder. I added the chili afterwards and the taste was unique and good. I rinse the beans well before adding them to the pan. It can be served in many ways;-
  • with toast and a salad
  • in taco shells or with tortillas adding salsa and sour cream
  • as a taco salad served in a bed of greens and topped with tortilla chips and toppings
  • as a stuffing for peppers
In a large pan or wok add some or all of these ingredients;-
2 tsp oil, 1 large diced onion, 1 large diced sweet pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 1 or more chopped hot peppers, 1 or more cups sliced mushrooms. Cook til softened

1-28 oz tin tomatoes
1-6 oz tin tomato paste if you have it
2-19 oz tins rinsed beans ( I used black beans and kidney beans)
1/2-1 tin canned lentils for a "ground meat" like texture
I like to simmer some zucchini slices in the stew after the tomatoes are added

Seasoning suggestions- (season to taste)

1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin ( I crush the whole seeds with a mortar and pestle)
hot pepper flakes, cayenne if you like it hotter
1/2 cup or more chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
salt and pepper to taste
(or one package of chili seasoning mix)

Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavours. Tastes even better the next day.

For a meat-based chili, add 1/2-1 lb of cooked ground meat or chicken chunks. You can cook the meat with the onions and peppers.

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