Monday, July 25, 2011

Ultimate Veggie Chili

I've made many a chili recipe in my day, and while they have all been pretty good, I wanted to create a veggie chili that had the right amount of heat, was full of vegetables, and hearty enough to be a full meal. This recipe actually includes bulgur wheat, which I've seen in chilis before and creates a great texture plus adds a whole grain component. Combined with fresh corn and a combination of spices, this is my favorite version of veggie chili yet.

Ultimate Veggie Chili
Serves 6-8

Active time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced (I'm not normally a huge fan of these but they're good in this)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
1 T. ancho chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 c. bulgur wheat
2 c. water
15 oz. can red chili beans (or use 2 cans pinto beans instead of 1), drained and rinsed
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Grated pepper jack cheese

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, green pepper, garlic cloves, and 1/2 t. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ancho chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne until the vegetables are coated. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the bulgur wheat, 2 c. water, 1 t. kosher salt, and the two cans of beans, and bring to a low boil. Add the corn, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve into bowls and top with fresh cilantro and any other toppings of your choice, such as grated pepper jack cheese.

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