Vegetarian chili recipe

Last night I made veggie chili. I’m still working on my recipe. I decided not to use fake meat because when you cook fake meat in liquid it gets weird and spongy – even the crumbled soy meat product, which is meant for stuff like chili. Instead, I used mushrooms that contain umami, the salty component found in meat. It’s not terribly authentic, but the mushrooms give the chili a nice meatiness. Again, I’m looking at my salt intake, so I don’t add any salt; you may need to add salt.

I made too much last night, so my partner and I grazed on the chili for a couple days and I had some for my lunch the next day – it’s better the next day.


1 cup of water

1 can of no-salt black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of no-salt pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cob of corn

1 rib of celery, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 8 oz package of mushrooms sliced – I like cremini because it’s tastier, but even button mushrooms might work

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped – remember to be careful to wash your hands and not wipe your eyes or nose

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 large onion chopped

3 green onions chopped

1 cup of salsa – I like Newman’s Own

1 can of no-salt crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup of cornmeal

Chili powder

Italian seasonings




A handful of cilantro, chopped

Fat free sour cream

Low fat chedder or American cheese

a handful of low-salt tortilla chips

Whew. It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but don’t worry this is all pretty easy to make. You should use a Dutch oven because it’s heavy and it has a lid. I love my Dutch oven and I use it all the time.

So coat the bottom of the Dutch oven with olive oil and let it heat for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Add the chopped celery and carrot and stir. Add some chili powder and mix, letting the powder coat the vegetables and continue cooking for a few minutes before adding the onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper, and stir until the vegetables start to get transluscent. Add the mushrooms and cook – this is the tricky part: you’re going to have to let the mushrooms form a fond on the bottom of the pan – the darker the fond the richer your chili will be, but that being said, you have to be careful not to let the fond burn. I let it get to a chocolate brown – Add the water and stir, scraping the browned bits. Add the tomatoes and beans stir carefully to not mash the beans and lower the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer.

Once the chili is just sputtering, add the corn and salsa. Let it cook over the medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped green onions and sprinkle in the corn meal to thicken the chili. Then add a tiny dash of the cinnamon and sprinkle in the cilantro and continue to stir.

After about 25 minutes, remove from heat. The way I serve it, is I crumble a handful of chips on the bottom of a bowl and ladel about a cup and a half of the chili. I then sprinkle the cheese. Add a dollop of the sour cream and a few cilantro leaves.

Oh, and enjoy 🙂



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