A warm Kissing the Cook welcome to new subscriber Julie!
If someone were to compile a list of the foods that people take most personally, chili would surely rank high. Cook-off competitions are held that focus entirely on it. People argue about it, heels dug in deep to defend the honor of their family recipe.
Although this week’s recipe for Vegetarian Chili would not be the first choice of the chili purists, for the rest of us it’s a healthier, one-pot alternative that’s quick and easy to make. (Most of whatever effort is involved is for cutting up the vegetables at the beginning.)
Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:
- It may occur to you, as it did to me, that a splash of Worcestershire would go very well with this. Resist the temptation if you’re looking to keep this a truly meatless dish. Being made from anchovies, Worcestershire is not vegetarian.
- Although the beans-vs.-no-beans question persists among chili lovers, purists generally agree that real chili does not have beans. As a bean advocate, though, I’ve included them here. Feel free to leave them out if that’s what you prefer.
- The proper level of heat is another area of some controversy in the world of chili. This recipe is for a mild heat chili. Increase the heat, either by adding hot sauce or using more jalapeno than I’ve called for, if you so desire.
This recipe makes about 2 quarts.
First, we’ll prepare the vegetables.
Prepare 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 2 large sweet onions, diced; ½ green bell pepper, diced; ½ red bell pepper, diced; 1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped (with seeds); and 2 zucchinis, peeled, quartered, and chopped into 1/4“ pieces.
Now we start cooking!
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook till aromatic, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add and the onions, peppers, jalapeno, and 1-1/2 cups of corn and sauté until soft, about five minutes.
Stir in 1 Tbsp chili powder; 1 tsp ground cumin; 1 tsp dried cilantro; 2 tsp prepared horseradish; and ½ tsp salt, plus additional to taste, and cook for one minute.
Add a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice; 1-1/2 tsp barbeque sauce; and the zucchini, and lower the heat to a simmer.
Stir in a 29 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed; and continue to simmer for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the chili to bowls and garnish with grated cheddar. Serve with crackers.
And that’s it! One pot, and just a few simple steps. All that’s left now is to enjoy serving – and eating – your chili!