Hearty Chili – Veggie Version

Ingredients:

§ 2 cups kidney beans (prep below)
§ 1 ½ cup tomato juice
§ 1 cup uncooked buckwheat or quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
§ 2 Tbs. olive oil
§ 2 cups chopped onion
§ 6 – 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
§ 1 large carrot, chopped
§ 1 large celery stalk, chopped
§ 2 small zucchinis, chopped
§ 1 large red, yellow, or orange pepper, chopped
§ 1 jar tomatoes
§ 2 Tbs tomato paste
§ 2 tsp. cumin
§ 2 tsp. basil
§ 2 tsp. chili powder
§ black pepper and cayenne, to taste
§ finely chopped purple cabbage (as a topping)

Preparation:

1. Cover the beans with water and soak overnight. Drain the water off, rinse the beans well, recover them with water and adding a smidge of salt, bring to a boil then simmer for ~ 2 hours.
Add more water if necessary, so that the beans stay covered but not drowned in water! Test for doneness and cook a bit more if necessary. The beans should be cooked but firm!
(Canned beans work well in this recipe also; do not drain the juice, simply pour the can contents into your pot.)

2. Heat the tomato juice to a boil. Add the buckwheat/quinoa to the pot, stirring it up well, cover, and let it sit for 15 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil on a medium burner then add the onions and peppers to sauté 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the chopped veggies (except for the cabbage), and sauté for several more minutes until the veggies cook down but not become too soft. Stir occasionally and gently as you sauté.

4. Kitchen Zen alternative method of cooking veggies:
a. Place the chopped onion into a baking dish, toss with olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast at 350 for 10 minutes, then add the chopped carrots, celery, and garlic together in a baking dish; toss with a smidge more olive oil, salt and pepper; roast for 20 minutes total at 350 degrees, turning the veggies over once, at the 10-minute mark.
b. Slice the zucchini into rounds, rub with olive oil and salt & pepper; broil for ~ 5 minutes on both sides but not too long to prevent a soft consistency.
c. Quarter the peppers, rub with olive oil, place under the broiler for 5 – 6 minutes until the skin bubbles and blackens a bit, turn over to broil the other sides.

5. Once the beans are cooked, add the jar of tomatoes and bring to a boil – just for a moment, then turn down the heat to medium-low.

6. Add the tomato paste and let it completely mix in, stirring gently.

7. Add the roasted veggies and buckwheat/quinoa. Add spices to your desired taste. You can add more tomato juice if you like a thinner consistency.

The purple cabbage on top adds a lovely crunch and gorgeous color finish. Additional topping options are minced parsley and grated cheese. Yum!

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