Every vegan or vegetarian should have a couple of good chili recipes in their repertoire.
Chili is easy. Inexpensive. Nutritious.
Something you can feed your omnivore friends without them going all pale and squirmy on you.
And if you don’t throw in any faux beef crumbles, it’s something you can serve even to your gluten-sensitive friends.
I like this chili because instead of traditional Southwestern seasonings, it has a bit of cinnamon which gives it an unexpected sweetness and lilt.
This recipe is from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by by Carol Gelles. I’ve been making this chili for at least 10 years now, and I’ve only made the slightest of modifications – the recipe is just that good.
- 2 14 oz. cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained; or about 3-4 cups cooked black beans from dry
- 1 medium to large Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 medium or 1/2 large Green Bell Pepper, diced
- Olive oil
- 2 14-ounce cans Tomatoes; I like to use one can crushed and one can diced, for texture
- 1 4-ounce can diced Jalapenos, or about 1/4 cup jarred* (see Notes)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
- 3 tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 /2 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
In a large pot, saute the onions in a tablespoon or two of olive oil – about 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and garlic and saute for another two minutes or so.
Add your spices – chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon. Saute another minute or so – keep stirring so that the spices don’t burn!
Add the tomatoes, chilis, black beans, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the chili boils, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer 15 minutes longer.
Serve over rice (I like basmati) with a dollop of soy yogurt.
*The canned jalapenos give this chili a mild and very consistent level of hotness. Fresh peppers can vary greatly – from not very hot to downright fiery – so using canned or jarred jalapenos makes it foolproof. If you like spicy food you can certainly add fresh peppers – I’d use 1-2 diced jalapenos, or 3-4 diced green chili peppers. This is actually one chili that tastes best if it’s not too hot, though, so don’t dial the heat up all the way.