Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rainbow Chili

I needed something to replace my quest for the perfect tortilla, and with all the canned and dried beans we're trying to use up, chili seemed like the next logical choice. Japanese fresh green peas are phenomenal but but a wee bit expensive. I found this little package for 150 yen, which had me looking around at the other shoppers with expectation on my face. Do they know??? They're bigger than most peas, and just so sweet and hearty. The perfect green for my rainbow chili! These amounts are approximate. I believe chili is a "spice to taste" kind of dish, and lately I've been toning down the spiciness in my recipes to accommodate babies and friends whose stomachs aren't made of steel. I love that this chili is vegan and gluten-free (if you take out the sugar), but if any of you have some vegetarian chili recipes you think I should try, please post them! This is how perfect recipes are procured . . .

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1-3 tablespoons finely chopped chipotles (opt)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained
3 cups cooked kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup fresh green peas
2 12-oz cans diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2-3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
dash of cayenne
dash of nutmeg
pinch of brown sugar

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic and cook for 10-12 monutes, until vegetables are softened but not browned. Add chipotles, oregano, cumin, chili powder and salt. Stir to blend. Add tomatoes, pinch of sugar, nutmeg and 4 cups water. Gently simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Add beans and peas and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Adjust the spiciness of the chili with cayenne.


Katie said...

Marc's office is having a chili cook off on Wednesday... we are officially making this! Also-- it's always nice bringing your own veg dish and knowing it doesn't have chicken stock or something in it. This looks sooooo good! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Katie said...

Also-- I was planning on leaving out the sugar. Does it make a totally noticeable difference? Should I definitely leave it in?

Suzie said...

Katie - yay! I hope you like it. The sugar's not a big deal - it just brings out the flavor of the tomatoes, which I like. If you want you can add a little tomato paste instead, but it's not necessary. Let me know how it turns out!

Suzie said...

Also, and you probably know this, but the longer you simmer the chili the thicker it will be, so use your preference and discretion there, too. :)