Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jeff's Vegetarian Chili

Jeff is my old (as in, the past, not old as in ancient -- although you are older Jeff!) housemate. He has this hard core chili book that implores you to apprehend specialized Mexican herbs, and cooks everything the "long way" (rather than the most efficient) -- however, the results of all of the recipes we've all tried are fabulous. Back in our young single days, whenever we'd have a big crowd over -- Jeff would make 2 vats of chili. One of the favorite stand-by's was the 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili. "3 Bean" to me doesn't do this chili justice in a name -- trust me, it's splendid. After making it for my crowd of 11 on Thursday, everyone wanted the recipe. Here is a less labor intensive version that's not quite so hard core. I think Jeffrey will approve.

3 Bean Vegetarian Chili
(As you can see in the picture, I also added a chopped zucchini because I had one on hand. The picture was taken before all of the veggies were cooked. Sometimes this chili can get a little thick. Feel free to add water to get the consistency you prefer.)
  • 3/4 C medium or coarse Bulgar
  • 1 C orange juice (I didn't have any, so I used cider)
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 C chili powder
  • 3 T ground cumin
  • 3 T dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 T dried thyme
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (the recipe calls for 1-2 t, but that gets really hot -- and I love spice!)
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 can (35 oz) plum tomatoes w/ juice (whole or diced or crushed -- last time I used diced and crushed b/c that's what I had - frankly, I liked that combo best)
  • 3 C water (the recipe calls for chicken broth, but it's not necessary and I wanted to make it totally vegetarian -- you couldn't notice any difference)
  • 2 large sweet red peppers - 1/2" dice
  • 1/2 lb. french cut frozen green beans **Note** don't worry about the exact amount of veggies. If your package is 16 oz., just use the whole thing! Add more of your favorite things, less of your "not as favorite". It's all good.
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) corn kernels
  • 1 can (16 oz.) dark red kidney beans - rinsed and drained (sometimes I used black beans instead because I prefer them)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) chickpeas - rinsed and drained

Suggested Toppings: Sour Cream, Shredded Jack or Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Scallions.Serve along with Cornbread and Butter! Yum. Yum. Yum.


In a small bowl, combine Bulgar and orange juice and let stand at room temperature.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until they are tender

.Add in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or so.

Add in the tomatoes and 3 C water (or broth, if using) . If you're using whole tomatoes, break them up with your fingers as you are adding them in. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, chop the red peppers into dice. Throw them in the pot. (You may need to raise the heat up a little.)

After a few minutes, add in the frozen green beans, frozen corn and Bulgar. Stir.

After a few more minutes, add in the chickpeas and kidney beans. Stir.

Simmer until all the veggies are tender and the chili is thick. (Sometimes, I add in a little extra water b/c I don't like it too thick.) Taste and adjust any seasonings.

Beware: This chili is spicier the next day. And as with any tomato based dish, it's better the next day. This is a great thing to serve at a party because you cook it the day before and then on the day of the party it's "one less thing" to worry about! Yumola.

1 comment:

a. borealis said...

Yowzas!!! That looks DELICIOUS. I'm going to have to try it.