Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mark The First Day Of Autumn With A Vegan Chili Even Carnivores Will Love

Chili in its simplest form is a stew consisting of chilis and meat often with the addition of tomatoes and beans. In this version we ditched the meat kept the tomatoes and beans then added root vegetables for a flavor sensation that is as comforting for the body as it is for the soul. Forget every preconceived idea you have about vegan foods – this zippy comfort food is such a surprise that you don’t have to let anyone in your family know its meatless secret!

Vegan Chili #Recipe
Aside from vegetables, this version contains some ingredients not usually associated with chili. The spice mix includes Turmeric, Citrus Juice plays a small supporting role that will be missed it its left out, and Black Eyed Peas and Corn bring visual interest and a nutritional punch.

1 Medium Onion
3-4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 Sweet Potato , peeled and diced
  2 Parsnips, peeled and diced
1 large Carrot, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups low sodium Vegetable Broth
1 14-15oz can diced Tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can Red Kidney Beans (drained)
1 14-15 oz can Black Eyed Peas (drained)
1 11 oz can Green Giant Steam Crisp Corn *
2 Tbs Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice or the juice of a small lime
½ tsp Paprika
  ¼ chopped Cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste, smoked black pepper will put this chili over the top.

Put all those peelings and trimmings in your compost container, your garden will reward you for this.

In a large pot, such as LeCreuset, warm about a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion and garlic over medium low heat until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic’s fragrance is warm and no longer stinging. Add the cumin, coriander, chili, and turmeric. Stir to coat the onions. Cook for about a half a minute or so, just until the perfume of the spices starts to fill the room.

Add the sweet potato, parsnip, and carrot, stir and cook for 3-5 minutes , then add the broth reduce heat and cook until the root vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the drained beans and peas, then the tomatoes and their juice. Cook about 10 minutes more. Fork test a piece of sweet potato for doneness, it should be soft and ready to eat right about now. Turn off the heat. Stir in the corn, citrus juice and paprika; season with pepper and salt, if necessary. Stir in cilantro and serve.
Makes about 4 servings.

*Green Giant Steam Crisp Corn, formerly called "Summer Crisp" is canned corn but is as crisp as frozen. It's become a favourite around here because its got all that great flavor and texture without taking up freezer space.