Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

As cold, rainy, perfectly crisp fall weather approaches, I tend to want more soups and warming comfort foods. Last night just happened to be a "I think we should have chili and cornbread" day. This chili was delicious and totally filling! You won't even miss the meat.

Vegetarian Chili
(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch's "Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking"

Makes 6-8 servings

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 3 small onions)
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2-3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed {I only used 2 and it turned out really good}
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped {Honestly, I wasn't in the mood to peel my tomatoes, so I just seeded and chopped them and they worked fine for me}
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 15-ounce 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 (Do not add to the pot if you're planning to freeze chili)

**Optional toppings: cooked brown rice, sour cream, greek yogurt, cheese, diced avocado, chopped green onions (scallions)**

1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini, corn and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
4. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the tomatoes.
6. Add the black 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.
7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
8. To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili over the rice and top with whatever garnishes you choose.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

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