As the weather grows colder and snow begins to flutter, chili season is here. I have some chili recipes of my own, but when I wanted to bring something to potluck, I knew we had some big cans of stewed tomatoes in the house. My stepmother makes some simple chili, and I decided to make a recipe similar to hers (minus the meat, and the seasonings adjusted). I asked her some questions, and with her advice, put together a nice, simple, and healthy dish.
- 2 28 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
- 1-2 15.5 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained (My stepmother told me not to rinse, so I did not, but I believe it will be healthier without the slimy goo that the beans come in. If you have soaked kidney beans [that were dried], that are prepared, about 2-4 cups may produce similar results.)
- 1 green bell pepper, rinsed, seeds removed, and sliced
- 1 medium sized onion, peeled and sliced (about the size of a tennis ball, but a smaller onion may work as well)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil (100% extra virgin, recommended)
- 1-2 Tbsp chili powder
- sea salt (optional)
- Heat oil in a medium or large sauce pan.
- Add peppers and onions.
- Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until peppers and onions have softened. (They should be soft, not crispy or burned, and do not need to be caramelized.)
- Pour tomatoes (juice and all) into a crock pot.
- Mash the tomatoes, using a potato masher or similar tool.
- Add all other ingredients except for salt.
- Mix well.
- Cover and heat on low for about 4-6 hours.
- Salt (if desired) to taste, right before eating.
For quicker cooking, you can also combine these ingredients in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10-20 minutes, stirring frequently, but the flavor may not be the same, and it wouldn’t be crockpot chili.
Chili makes a delicious meal topped with vegan cheeses and vegan sour cream, and/or served with cornbread or other bread. It can also be poured over tortilla chips, with vegan cheese and/or vegan sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, and other toppings for what we SDAs call “haystacks”, poured over vegetarian hotdogs for a chili dog, used as dip, or even baked in layers with tortilla chips or flour-based tortillas. There are many possibilities for delicious meals with chili.