Vegetarian Three Bean Chili
If you have browsed through my other recipes, you know that I am not a vegetarian. However, I do like to eat meatless meals quite often. I have tried several vegetable chili recipes in the past and I just did not care for them because they included many vegetables that I do not associate with regular chili. So, I decided to try my own recipe which, basically, omits the meat and substitutes more of the beans and usual vegetables used for flavor. I really like it. So, if you are a vegetarian, or just prefer a meatless meal for a change of pace, try this chili recipe. It is an easy, healthy, comforting and delicious one pot main dish. For additional chili recipes, see the similar and related recipes links.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large green bell peppers, chopped
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cans (about 15.5 ounces each) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (see notes below)
- 2 cans (about 15.5 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (about 15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) whole tomatoes with juices, crushed slightly
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, more to taste
- Finely chopped onions
- Grated cheddar or cheese of choice
- Sour cream (can use reduced fat)
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the onions, peppers, cumin, oregano, and ancho chile; cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the Parmesan, beans, tomatoes with juices and cocoa powder. Stir well; cover and cook about one hour. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Cover and cook for an additional hour or until liquid has thickened. (If it needs further thickening, remove the lid.) Serve with the optional garnishes.
Notes: This is even better the next day. Chili can also be frozen and reheated. You can use other types of beans, as long as there are red kidney beans in the mixture. I always use low-sodium or 'no salt added' beans and tomatoes. If you prefer more heat in your chili, use a hotter ground chile. The amount of cocoa powder needed really depends on the intensity of the product. You do not want this to taste like chocolate, but there should be enough to add a depth of flavor. If you want to add a little meaty texture, you can sauté four to eight ounces chopped mushrooms with the onions and peppers. However, I do not think it is necessary.