Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nicki's Vegetarian Chili

I've been on this vegetarian recipe kick for a while. I'm trying to come up with my very own recipes for things. It started when I tried to be more observant of Jewish kosher laws. It can be difficult because....well, I'm in Germany and, bratwurst is GOOD. Lately though, I realizing that having a mostly vegetarian diet is just easier when it comes to keeping kosher. Plus, it can be a lot healthier. This so far has been my favorite combination for chili. I'm not so sure about the nutritional information but maybe some other reader genius could figure it out for me. I know that most likely the sodium content is high because of all the canned beans but it's easy and with two young kids, that's what I need.

Nicki's Veggie Chili

1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper (or 2 depending on your preference I use one cause, it's cheaper)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cans of kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 28oz. can of tomato
1 can of chopped green chilies (I use a small can of Old El Paso)
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
2 Tablespoons of oil (for sauteing)
Shredded Cheese or Sour Cream (Optional)

We are a mild tongued family for the most part. (at least my kidlets are) The canned green chilies add some flavor but no real spice. If you'd like it spicier use a tablespoon or so of chilies in adobo sauce. It adds more heat and has a nice smokey flavor.

In a large pot, saute all the vegetables until tender (about 5-10 minutes). Add spices and stir them in with the vegetables. Then place all of the canned beans, tomato and chilies in with the vegetables and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes or more depending on your preference of vegetable consistency. Serve with shredded cheese on top or just plain.

I'd imagine this is pretty healthy. Again, sodium might be an issue for some. In which case, try dried beans (3 cups of kidney & 1 cup of black--cooked and water according to preference) also, an easy way to cut the sodium is to look at the content of sodium in different brands of canned items. One can of tomatoes that I used had double the sodium of another brand.

This makes about six 2-cup servings and it's pretty inexpensive. I'll have to price everything out once I have a chance. Once one has the recipe down, it takes 30 minutes or less to get everything done and on the table. If a person is using dried beans it takes much longer (possibly can be an overnight thing to prep the beans) I usually have most of these items in the house. The celery I usually have on it's last leg before I decide that I should probably make use of it before it ends up in compost. My husband loves this recipe. He's not vehemently against this whole vegetarian exploration.....just weirds him out a bit but, he's getting better. The idea that it can be cheaper at the grocery store is turning him.

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