Who doesn’t love chili? It’s a soul-satisfying dish packaged in a rich, savoury tomato sauce. While classic chili is ground meat-focused, this one is plant-based and loaded with fibre-fabulous beans and chunky colourful veggies. You’ll easily warm to this earthy dish which features toasted cumin, smoky chipotle chili peppers, and the subtle sweetness of cocoa powder. Perfect for meal prep and batch cooking, this recipe makes 8-10 servings. Your weekly menu will thank you!

Ingredients

2-4 Tbsp olive oil
2½ c onions, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2½ c mushrooms, sliced
2 c bell peppers, chopped
2 c zucchini, chopped
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 tsp salt
2 (796 ml) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 chipotle chili peppers (in adobo sauce), chopped
4 c cooked beans of choice (a mix of red kidney, black bean and pinto is delicious!)
2 c frozen corn kernels (optional)
4 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp lime juice or red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

Garnishes:
Fresh cilantro
Shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream or crème fraiche
Chopped green onions

Instructions

In a large heavy bottomed pot, sauté onions in olive oil until they are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic, peppers, and zucchini. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add spices and stir to coat vegetables.

Dump in tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and beans, cover, and let simmer on medium-low heat for 35–45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent chili from burning at the bottom of the pot.

Just before serving, stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and optional cocoa and/or corn.

Season to taste and serve with toppings.

Toasted Cumin Seeds:
Bring out the smoky flavour of cumin seeds by dry roasting them in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Stir constantly for a minute or two, or until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Allow to cool before grinding.

Better beans!
Cooking your own dried beans isn’t just more economical, it’s better for the environment! Simply soak overnight in water with a stick of kombu or a couple of bay leaves to help make the beans more digestible. When ready to cook, drain the beans, rinse, then add to a freshly filled pot of water and cook until softened. Easy and so good for you!

(As published in EcoParent Magazine)

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