It’s summer, so a warm bowl of chili is probably the last thing on your mind. But wait a minute…who says you have to have a HOT bowl of chili? I invite you to use the sunshine to inspire you to re-think “food rules” and reimagine dishes in a new light, temperature, or pairing combination.
Today’s recipe is Cool Vegetarian Chilli with a Kick. (inspired by The Curvy Carrot)
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1 large red bell pepper
8 medium garlic cloves
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 cans (15oz each) of various beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
Sour cream, optional
1. Prep work: Chop onion, mince garlic, seed & chop red pepper, drain & rinse beans, and coarsely chop the cilantro. KEEP ALL INGREDIENTS SEPARATE.
2. In a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. After letting it warm up for a minute, add the onions, cooking them until they are a bit soft and translucent. Don’t forget to still periodically.
3. Add red pepper to the onion and cook until both become soft & slightly browned on the edges.
4. Add garlic & cook until fragrant (1 min). (Take care not to burn the garlic).
5. Move all content of your pot to its perimeter, creating a hole in the middle. Put the ground cumin the middle, cook until fragrant (1 min), then mix with all the vegetables.
6. Add chili powder & cayenne pepper, stirring them in with everything else.
7. Once you smell all the flavours fusing together, add the water. Stir well to combine, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom.
8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until it’s slightly thickened.
9. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, & brown sugar. Bring back to a simmer & cook for 25min, or until slightly thickened.
10. Add the beans & corn, stirring them gently into the veggies.
11. Remove pot from heat, stirring in cilantro and lime juice.
12. Either serve immediately or transfer to a resealable container, cool at room temperature for 1hr, then place in the fridge to further chill.
Just a heads up, this chili packs a bit of heat, even when cooled, due to the cayenne and chili pepper in it. Hot or cold, it is delicious served over brown rice, buckwheat, barley, or any other whole grain of your choice. Serving it over grains, with a cool cucumber on the side, and a dollop of sour cream on top is my favourite way to make this a complete meal and cut the heat.
Stay healthy and happy,
Anna Gofeld, RD