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'Winter Solstice Vegetarian Chili' Recipe
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00  |  Written by Kim Ridley | Blog Entry

Red Peppers photo by pin addThere’s nothing like a big pot of spicy chili to bring back the glorious warmth of the sun on a cold, dark winter day. I’ve been tinkering with chili recipes for years, and this winter solstice version is a real crowd pleaser. Chipotle peppers puréed in adobo plus a sprinkling of Hungarian smoked paprika give it a wonderful smoky heat. Vegetarians and carnivores alike love this dish because it’s meat-free yet hardy, with a great texture thanks to bulgur.

I like to cook my own beans, although canned beans are perfectly fine for this recipe. My favorite dried beans include heirloom varieties like Jacob’s Cattle, which is available at the local farmer’s market, and elegant little Black Valentine beans from my garden in Maine.

You can adjust the spiciness (read heat) in this recipe up or down and serve it with minced jalapenos for an extra kick.

This recipe serves 10 or so with rice. There are rarely any leftovers.

Chili Ingredients (serves about 10)

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed

  • 2 Tbsp good-quality chili powder

  • 1½ Tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, puréed (use more or less to taste)

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans

  • 3 cups cooked black beans

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • ½ cup uncooked bulgur

  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp Hungarian smoked paprika

  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Optional Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups uncooked brown rice

  • 1 pint sour cream or 1 pound grated cheddar

Start the brown rice separately, before beginning to prepare the chili, so it’s ready when the chili is. Warm the olive oil in a big heavy pot over medium-low heat. When the oil ripples, add onion, peppers and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about eight minutes. Add spices and cook one to two minutes, until spices release their fragrance. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes and juice, corn, beans, bulgur and vinegar, and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until mixture thickens and bulgur is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in paprika. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over rice with sour cream or grated cheddar.

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Joanna Steven, contributor of this recipe, is co-author with Tonya Kay of raw vegan nutritional analysis eBooks available at Kayos Market. She contributes to the Raw Divas and Raw Mom websites, has been published in Get Fresh! and writes her own blog.

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Eco Tip

Become a vegetarian or vegan, or at least eat less meat. Meat is a big waster of water and energy—and generator of greenhouse gasses. It also exacerbates world hunger. One acre of land yields almost 18 times as much usable protein from plant versus animal sources—356 pounds if used to grow soybeans, 20 pounds if used to raise cattle for slaughter. More tips...

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It is in man's heart that the life of nature's spectacle exists; to see it, one must feel it. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Emile, 1762  More quotes...