Spicy and Bold Vegan Chili
Even though I love time in the kitchen, sometimes I just want to throw everything in a pot and forget about it for a while.
Our 4th of July was full of errand-running, and cuddling with the kitties (see below), and setting off cheesy fireworks in the front yard. So, whipping up some delicious chili sounded like a perfect plan. And even though I try to avoid processed foods like the plague, we did splurge and buy some vegan hot dogs to accompany the chili. They weren’t as good as I wanted them to be, but that’s OK. It just means I won’t want to buy them for awhile.
As for cooking, someone recently shared with me that sometimes my recipes seem a tad overwhelming for beginner chef’s. It’s excellent feedback, and since I want to appeal to anyone who is interested in making yummy plant-based meals, I’m going to start adding a separate area at the end with tips and comments specifically for novice home cooks. I’d love to know what you think!
On to the chili.
Do not be intimidated by the ingredient list. This comes together incredibly quickly.
Depending on how much heat you like, you can remove the seeds from the jalapeño for a milder kick or leave them if you really want to sweat.
The chipotle in adobo sauce is typically found in the International aisle of the grocery store. They come in small half-sized cans. I use these sparingly because they are made with high fructose corn syrup. (I’ve got a healthy recipe for homemade chipotle in adobo coming in my ebook later this summer!) These peppers have a smoky, intense flavor, and a decent amount of heat. If you like spicy, but want something a little less intense than the jalapeno, add a second chipotle to the mix. Yum!
I set my chili in the slow cooker, and just stirred it once an hour while it cooked all day. By evening, the chili was thick, rich, and flavorful. But, you could just as easily cook this in a large pot with a lid. Though you don’t have to cook it for a full hour, the longer it cooks the more the flavors will blend and develop into something delicious.
- – 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- – 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed
- – 2 cans diced tomatoes
- – 1 chipotle in adobo
- – 2-3 Tbsp adobo sauce
- – 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- – 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- – 3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
- – 4 cloves garlic, minced
- – 1 jalapeño, seeds optional, minced
- – 1/2 tsp salt
- – 1/4 black pepper
- – 1 tsp cumin
- – 1/4 cayenne
- – 1/4 chili powder
- – 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- – 1 bay leaf
- 1. Rinse the black beans and kidney beans well. Set aside in a colander.
- 2. Combine the diced tomatoes, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce in a blender. Blend well. Measure out 2 cups. Reserve any leftovers.
- 3. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño. Lower heat to medium, and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
- 5. Combine the beans, tomato mixture, and onion mixture in a slow cooker or a large pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- 6. If you’re using a slow cooker, set to medium heat and cook 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water or remaining tomato mixture, if it beings to dry out.
- 7. If cooking on the stove, cover and set on low heat for an hour.
- 8. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving.
- Serve over vegan hot dogs, with corn bread, or mix in some cooked quinoa for extra protein. Feel free to sprinkle some Daiya cheese on top, with some chopped cilantro. This also makes a great dip for chips on game day.
Smoked paprika is becoming much more common, and should be in the spice aisle with the others. If you’ve never cooked with this spice, you will be amazed at the deep smokiness. It’s perfect in butternut squash soup, on mushroom bacon, and in earthy sauces.
If you don’t have a blender, you can skip step two. The smooth sauce lends a nice texture, but it’s not mandatory. Just make sure you dice the chipotle!