Mar 7, 2013

Hearty Veggie Chili

Both vegetarians and meat lovers can unite over a bowl of this chili. But don't mistake the heartiness in your mouth for meat, cause it ain't there. In fact, before the garnishing, this pot-o-dinner is very healthy*. Of course, substitutions can be made for any of the vegetables I use. And if you insist, I wouldn't deny that some fried bacon and braised brisket would really amp this up. But I'll refrain from those heart-stoppers until another day.

for chili - 
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 small zucchini, de-seeded and cubed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 serrano or jalapeƱo pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 jar tomato sauce
1 box chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans of beans (such as kidney, pinot, black, etc.)
   rinsed and drained
1 can refried beans, vegetarian
salt and pepper to taste

for garnishing -
sour cream
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
avocado, mashed
fresh cilantro
corn tortilla chips

In a large pot over medium heat, begin by sweating onions seasoned with salt and pepper in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini and season with more salt and pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes until parts are golden. Add garlic and cover with lid for 2 minutes. Add spices and cover for just 1 minute. Add hot pepper, roasted peppers, tomatoes, sauce, broth, beans. Bring to a boil and let simmer with lid for 1 hour.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, avocado, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Use tortilla chips for dipping or crumble into bowl. Serves about 8.

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