Saturday, November 8, 2008
First Time's a Charm
So, until today, I had never tried to make chili. As a matter of fact, for a large part of my life I didn't even like chili. I had a huge aversion to beans growing up and avoided eating anything that contained them. Well, as with pretty much everything else I thought I didn't like (don't worry, there wasn't much. I've never been super picky) I've learned after trying them again, that I do, in fact, like beans. My biggest problem with chili is that I love to put cheese and sour cream on mine, but since we keep kosher at home I wouldn't be able to have ground beef in my chili if I wanted to add sour cream and cheese. And I worried that I'd miss the beef. I considered adding fake beef, like the Morningstar Farms crumbles I've used before. But I've never really been a huge fan. They're alright, but I didn't want them in my chili.
I decided that I'd go ahead and look for a vegetarian chili recipe and atleast give it a shot. I don't have a whole lot of patience for searching through recipes and recipe reviews looking for the perfect recipe. Actually, it probably has less to do with patience and more to do with the fact that my 9 year old can be a bit demanding. So I don't always have a ton of time to sit at the computer searching through websites. Anyway, it all worked out perfectly because within about 2 minutes I found what looked to me like the perfect recipe on allrecipes.com. I really wanted a chili recipe that didn't include any seasoning packets and that also looked like it would be easy to adapt to my own liking. The recipe I found turned out to be perfect and I honestly don't think I would change a single thing from the way I made it. The recipe on allrecipes called for tofu, but i decided not to add it. Instead, I added just a little more beans and some frozen corn. It turned out amazing and colorful and I absolutley loved it. I am so happy that I have found my go-to chili recipe on the first try.
I think the one thing that really made me choose this recipe in the first place was the picture on the website. It looked exactly like what I wanted my chili to look like. And although mine came out looking a bit different, it ended up tasting exactly like I wanted my chili to taste. Which is what's really important, right? But it just proves the statement that we eat with our eyes :-) I'll link here to the original recipe here, but will type my adapted version below.
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
~1/4 cup olive oil
~2 onions, chopped
~1 green pepper and one red pepper, chopped (I happened to have a bag of frozen red, green and yellow pepper slices in my freezer so i chopped those up and used them instead)
~2 cloves garlic, minced
~8 oz frozen corn
~1 29 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (I also added a little bit more from some I had leftover from another black bean dish i made last week. not sure how much more I added though)
~1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (I didn't actually add the whole can because I was afraid if I added too much it would water down the chili. It would probably be ok to use the whole can though)
~1 tsp salt
~1/4 tsp black pepper
~1 tsp ground cumin
~2 tbsp chili powder (the original recipe called for 6 tbsp, but I did half the recipe and decided not to add 3 tbsp of chili powder. I don't like my chili super spicy)
~1 tbsp oregano
~1 tbsp cider vinegar
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add peppers, garlic and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Pour beans, crushed tomatoes and seasonings into pot, lower heat to low and simmer on stove top approximately 4 hours. Makes about 6 servings (This is a total guess. The original recipe says it makes 8 servings, but even just making half the recipe made a ton of chili).
Oh, and before I forget, I had an awesome helper in the kitchen today. Maura helped with everything from stirring the chili to baking the cookies. Thanks Maura!