Vegetarian Chili (with carnivorous option!)

No video today folks. It has been a while, I know, but life catches up to us all. I am approaching a nice two week long holiday and plan on backlogging some webisodes, so fret not my faithful readers! For now, I would like to share with you the all-time best chili I have ever eaten! I am not sure if you can really call this a chili. It's actually more of a hybrid between a chili and a hearty stew. It's the perfect winter meal to warm the body and satiate the night-time appetite.

This dish blends together the perfect amount of vegetables, beans and spices into a blissful stew that will feed you for days. My husband and I banged it out in the kitchen together sipping a Cabernet and listening to cheesy Christmas music (its that time of year.) Micah decided to boil some chicken breasts in chicken stock to add to his bowl. I reminded him how he basically became a vegan when we first started dating, but it is now clear that it was all part of his courting strategy. It worked. Regardless, he said the chicken was the perfect accompaniment.

Things to know about this dish:
- The vegetables release a lot of liquid which makes up for the recipe
only calling for one cup of water.
- Though a departure from red beans,
the black beans are a nice touch in
this chili.
- Be prepared, this is Mexican inspired.

I couldn't leave you without a song for the week! I hope that everyone is enjoying the cold weather.

Vegetarian Chili
Inspired from Emeril Lagasse
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 chopped yellow onions
  • 2 chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 tabelspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne(more if you like it spicy)
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice, accompaniment, if desired
  • sour garnish
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado and green onions.

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