It’s been chilly around here! (and chili too!)
There have been some cold, snowy days lately here in Colorado Springs, as well as across the country. That means people are bundling up against the cold, snuggling up under warm blankets, and eating warm and comforting foods. And what better food to warm and comfort than a hearty bowl of Veggie Chili?
This Veggie Chili recipe is one that I have been making for over 25 years now, and it is still one of my favorite go-to family meals. It’s truly a one-pot meal!
Feeding a crowd?
This Veggie Chili is an ideal meal when you want to feed a group of people. It can be made in an instant pot or slow-cooker that both easily transport to whatever gathering you’re headed to.
I recently served it to a group of Native American tribal members and high-ranking army officers at a Cultural Resources Tribal Consultation meeting. The tribal representatives had asked for some more traditional fare, such as elk stew. The firemen at the army base were kind enough to make the stew for them, but some of the participants, including myself, were looking for a more plant-based and healthy option. So, I brought the ingredients and recipe for my favorite Veggie Chili. The fire guys whipped it up for us and it was greatly appreciated! In fact, my colleague liked it so much that she asked for the recipe, which is what prompted me to post it on my blog!
Plant-based goodness in every bite!
Because this Veggie Chili it is mostly vegetables and plant protein, I usually like to serve it with some kind of carb, such as cornbread, garlic toast, or rice. We ended up eating it with rice last night, and I really liked the combination of textures. But if you are wanting to avoid or cut back on carbs, it is quite satisfying on its own!
A lot of veggie chili recipes include faux ground beef or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) to make it seem more like there is meat in it, but I prefer not to use those products because they are highly processed and hard on my digestion. I have used tempeh in this recipe before and it was a nice addition with a texture much like the meat substitutes. But these days I just add some finely diced mushrooms to provide the texture and flavor I’m after. However, if you want something a little “meatier”, feel free to add your favorite faux meat. I won’t hold you back!
For a thick, rich chili…
I used to just use stewed tomatoes,but my son doesn’t like that much tomato, and it made the chili a little more liquidy than I think a chili should be. I now use a combination of stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce (both organic of course). I’ve also found that using freshly cooked beans instead of canned really adds a lot to the flavor and texture of the chili. You can still use just diced tomatoes and canned beans, but the consistency will be a little more soupy and lack the thickness that you normally expect from a chili.
Lastly, feel free to add a little more chili flakes or cayenne if you like it really spicy. The amount of spices listed in this recipe create a really awesome flavor with a mild underlying heat, so it’s not overwhelming for anyone who doesn’t like it too hot. Adjust to your heart’s desire!
Veggie Chili for a Chilly Day
This veggie chili is the perfect, satisfying meal on a chilly day. Packed with veggies, protein, tons of flavor, and of course, lots of love! What could be more warming and comforting than that?
- 2.5-3 cups cooked red kidney beans or 2 16 oz. cans
- 2 cups cooked black beans w/ juice or 1 16 oz. can
- 1 16 oz. can stewed, diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 6 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 cup green or red bell pepper or both
- 1 cup carrot diced
- 1 cup corn kernels frozen, canned, or fresh
- 1 large roasted green chili diced
- 1 cup mushrooms diced
- 1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. ground cumin seed
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dried chili flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-2 cups vegetable broth or water
Heat the oil on medium-high in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions start to turn soft and translucent. If the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a splash of water and stir.
Add the diced green chilies, carrot, bell pepper, corn, mushrooms, and spices. Stir to coat the vegetables with the spices and continue to cook for up to 5 minutes.
Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Stir to combine with the veggies. Add the vegetable broth or water, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
Optional garnishes: vegan cheese shreds, nutritional yeast, chopped green onion, cilantro, vegan sour cream or plain yogurt, avocado, crumbled tortilla chips or croutons
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