Sorry for the hiatus .. BUT I have vegetarian chili!

So I have a few drafts going, and some recipes to post from the past few weeks that I have been a little behind on posting. I will be working on catching my blog up here in this next week or two. Going forward I should be able to update this blog at least once a week, it was just difficult this past month with the holidays and my tonsillectomy. My last semester of college started yesterday so I am back to my wonderful apartment in Athens, Ohio.  For Christmas I received a Rachael Ray cookware set, and some other great cooking utensils that I get to use going forward 🙂 I also received a vegetarian/vegan cookbook that is geared towards college students to be affordable and quick.  So I am looking forward to including those in my blog posts.

Chili is probably my all time favorite food, and I tend to make it frequently.  This was my first time making a vegetarian version of my favorite food.  The recipes I found varied in the vegetables (including red and green peppers yuck!) to fake hamburger meat.  I basically picked foods from the recipes that I preferred, so feel free to add or subtract ingredients when you make your own version. I am also a huge fan of spicy food, so minor tweaks can make it a milder option should you choose.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2-2 bottles of V8 Spicy tomato juice
  • onion, diced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • 1 package baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 2-3 cans of tomatoes (I usually mix stewed with chili style or something with chilies or peppers, or you can use fresh tomatoes)
  • package of celery, sliced
  • 1/2-1can chick peas (drained)
  • 1/2-1 can black beans (drained)
  • generous amount of chili powder
  • 2 diced serrano peppers
  • 1/4-1/2 jar jalapenos and the juice
  • dash of chili flakes, cumin, and onion powder
  • EVOO
  • Minced garlic

Garnish:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded colby jack cheese
  • avocado
  • tortilla strips/chips

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First, I pour some olive oil and minced garlic into the bottom of the soup pan.  Then, I saute 1/2 of the fresh veggies.  After about 5 minutes or so I add the remaining vegetables and ingredients.  The reason I don’t saute about 1/2 is to keep the crunchy texture.  The amount of beans can vary depending on your preference or use. For example, I only used half of the chick peas because I plan to use some of them to put on my salads.  Top with the garnishments when serving.

One of the reasons I love chili so much is that it doesn’t take long to prepare and I can get a lot of meals out of it.  You can mix it up by using it to make a taco salad too.  Overall I was surprised that I really didn’t miss the ground beef in my chili.  I didn’t do a calorie or nutrition analysis of my new chili compared to my old recipe, but I am sure this new version is a lot more healthy and I didn’t have to sacrifice flavor.  I had never used avocado as part of a garnishment before and I have to say it was really really really really really delicious.  To me it gave it a Mexican flare that I really liked, and I think in the future I may be able to forgo my sour cream and substitute it with avocado exclusively.  Overall, I think the key is having the different textures/flavors (crunchy, soft, spicy, etc), and to have the fiber and protein to make you feel full.

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