Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quick Vegetarian Chili

This chili is chock full of protective ingredients, it's quick to throw together, and it's pretty darn tasty.

I used:

1 650-gram bag frozen beans (barbunya) +
1 small can red kidney beans
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 banana peppers, seeded and chopped
1.5 cups frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 tablespoons chili powder (I can't get this ingredient here, so I left it out)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein), reconstituted for 10 minutes in boiling water (another ingredient I wasn't able to acquire)

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Start by cooking the onion in a heavy soup pot. Soften for about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and soften for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Adding a little salt will let the allow the vegetables to "sweat" and should be added when the peppers are put in.

Stir the spices into the onions and peppers. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well. Put in the beans and add enough water to cover them. Allow the beans to simmer until they are thawed and tender (if using frozen). If only using canned beans, add beans and corn at the same time. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Chili is better the longer it simmers, but you can certainly eat it after 25 minutes. If using cilantro, add it at the end of cooking so the flavor stays fresh. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

The chipotle powder adds a really deep, smoky flavor, plus a touch of warmth. I used a type of frozen bean because they are more common than canned and I didn't have time to cook dried beans. You can use any combination of beans that you want. I had red kidney beans and a type of white bean with flecks of red. They're known as "barbunya" here.

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