Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe comes from Robyn Openshaw's (The Green Smoothie Girl) 12 Steps to Whole Foods book (I highly recommend it), and we quite enjoyed it. Be warned, it makes A LOT. I had to use my mom's canning pan to make it and froze a gallon bag full for later, plus having it for several meals and leftovers.

Of course, you could downsize the recipe. I like having freezer meals and leftovers sometimes. And we are still only three in our family (until May or June), so if you have a big family it might be just right for you.

I can’t overestimate this recipe’s role in helping my mom raise eight children on my father’s military income.Vegetarian chili is inexpensive, nutritious, filling, and a complete protein with brown rice added. As kids, we loved seeing it on the table on winter evenings with chips, shredded cheese, and a big green salad.

4 C pinto beans, soaked overnight and rinsed well
12 C water
2 C brown rice, rinsed well
2 diced yellow onions 4 cans tomato sauce
2 qt. diced tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbsp. chili powder 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-3 bay leaves
optional: 2 green bell peppers, diced
optional: 2 Anaheim or jalapeño peppers, diced

In a very large stock pot, bring the water and beans to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours (or longer, if the beans are very old), until they are almost tender. Add all the remaining ingredients, simmer for 1 hour, and serve. The taste improves overnight after refrigeration. Save leftovers to use for a baked potato bar—or, if you have a small family, you’ll have enough to freeze for another night’s meal.

I made it with the green (and I did red as well) peppers added, and left out the spice for our little boy. Without jalapeño peppers it is not spicy at all but has good flavor.

It's great as just a bowl of chili, but we also got creative and morphed it into other meals.

Here it is as a topping for some boiled red potatoes with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, etc. (I was going to do a baked potato bar, but I had these boiled already. Same dif.):

I also used it as a "taco" replacement for a taco salad of sorts. Much like the potato bar but with a huge green salad and some homemade ranch dressing on top. Another note: the ranch dressing is great with some jalapeño pepper blended into it, if you like a kick.

1 comment:

  1. Love it

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