Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

We had one of those nights this week...both boys, both had soccer practice, both at the same time. Thankfully, SPH is one of R's coaches and was able to rush home from work to take R to his practice while I went to G's practice. The timing necessitated that R and G eat before practice, a bit early, with me. But SPH needed to eat late.

What's a mom to do? Whip out the slow cooker. I think one of the unsung heroic feats that the slow cooker allows is for a dish to be eaten at different times of day. It's like a kitchen helper that says, "don't worry about the food. I'll be here, cooking and then, I'll keep it warm for the next round of eating. You just go out, do your thing, I'll take care of it all."

(I think if someone were to create the laundry-equivalent of a slow cooker, they'd be an instant billionaire)

Not all slow cooker meals can cook for longer than the recommended amount of time, but soups, stews and chili are delicious exceptions. If you are looking for other recipes that can withstand extra time, all of these recipes can sit an extra hour, two or even three or four and not turn out burnt.

This chili is vegetarian, healthful and most of all, delicious. R had two bowls which translates to: "this is a make-again, mom." One last note or two: if you still crave meat you can either check out my Fast-or-Slow Chili that we often make in the slow cooker and is more of a traditional chili -OR- you can replace two of the cans of beans with one pound of ground meat, just cook it on the stove top before you place it in the slow cooker. I also have a Golden Chili and White Chili that might be something you'd like to try. In other words, we heart chili in Sweet Peaville.

Vegetarian Chili

1 medium onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced (or try carrot, squash or even corn)
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 - 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 - 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
2 - 15 oz cans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 12 oz beer (or just use 1 1/2 cups water)
3-4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon +)

Toppings: light sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced red onion, cilantro (all optional)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

Stir well. Cook on high for 5-7 hours, low for 10-14 hours. Serve with desired toppings.
Tastes even better the next day!

(serves 12-16, but can be halved -OR- freeze the extra, since this chili freezes great)

Perfect for a busy soccer practice night, a family gathering or a football tailgate!

Life is sweet,


justme said...

hahah i just made this today. i love this meal, i eat it all week long. i think i make it too much as hubby has stopped eating it.

i need to get my girls to eat it as well.

JerseyBaby said...

We officially start our kitchen renovation TOMORROW and are planning on lots of crock-pot, microwave and no-cook meals to carry us over the next two months. And of course, lots of eating out! Thanks for giving us a great recipe to start with, especially with the cooler temps this weekend.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Trifit, great minds think alike!

JB, I can't wait to see the results of your kitchen remodel. We dream of doing the same...some day!

JerseyBaby said...

We had this last night, by the way! Loved the addition of sweet potatoes which I've never done before. I can't convince H2 to love chili, and H1 found it slightly spicey even thought I significantly reduced the cayanne and chili powder. Still, the had a (crumbly) high time with the gluten-free and dairy-free cornbread I made (and copious amounts of butter), so all was not lost. Plus, there's lots left for Josh and I to enjoy for lunch this week!