Thursday, March 5, 2015

Vegetarian Chili

This dish happened all because of an avocado.  The avocado had gotten buried in one of the crisper drawers.  The recipe had gotten buried in a food file that it should never have been in.  How it turned up in the "Bread and Muffins" file is beyond me!!

Our young friend, Colin, became a vegetarian sometime during his early college years.  He was always at our Thanksgiving table until he headed off to Berkeley and grad school.  I had to come up with a dish for him.  A dish that could be made ahead of time so as to focus on the many other components that go into such a traditional meal.

Backing up to the avocado found lurking in the refrigerator, it seemed to be perfect for a bowl of the vegetarian chili I served to young Colin.  Instead of a turkey leg on his plate, he had a bowl of chili alongside the sweet potato soufflé, steamed green beans, dressing and cranberry sauce.

I'm not suggesting you start planning Thanksgiving dinner and include this dish.  I am suggesting that it was delicious with the avocado on top.  And, it is delicious any day of the year.



Vegetarian Chili

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans red kidney beans
1 15 oz can black beans
1/2 cup red or yellow lentils
1 cup water
1 tsp smokey paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sugar

1.  Heat oil in a large, heavy pot.  Add the onions, peppers and garlic and sauté for three minutes.  Add the tomatoes, beans with their liquid, the lentils, water, paprika, chili powder and cumin.  Simmer, stirring often, for about 40 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and sugar.
2.  Serve in warmed bowls topped with a bit of sour cream and avocado.
NOTE:  At the very end, I tossed in about a cup of last summer's frozen corn.

ENJOY!

21 comments:

  1. Full of beans, just like I like it. I think it's handy to have some vegetarian dishes in your files for guests. You were so kind to include Colin into your Thanksgiving meals Bonnie. That's the true meaning of sharing.
    Sam

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  2. I love how you told this story, Bonnie. =) And, this dish looks delicious... with or without the avocado (though I would always prefer with). blessings ~ tanna
    ps yes, I think the enjoyment of harsh weather dims with the years. ;)

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  3. You put everything you find to good use..:)

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  4. A lot of good things in your chili, especially that jalapeno! Good job, Bonnie!

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  5. I love chili served with or without meat. It is a hearty dish and the avocado is a perfect addition. Looks delicious. xoxo Catherine

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  6. this sounds good to me, i am not a meat eater. this is almost like the chili i make but using ground beef. so just leave out the beef... and maybe not tell bob

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  7. Thank you for reminding me of this delicious recipe and of that special Thanksgiving we shared before Colin headed off to Berkeley. I remember you gave him the recipe which helped to sustain him throughout his graduate years. It continues to be a favorite with our family and he now serves it to his own family of wife Bonnie and sweet little Dora. XO XO Jane

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  8. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful recipe and of that special Thanksgiving before Colin headed off to Berkeley. Just think, twelve years later he is a working scientist with a delightful young family and is a fine home cook, though no longer a vegetarian! XOXO Jane

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    1. Oh yes, the memories--from his NASA space suit at age five to a doctor of science!! So glad he still uses my recipe.

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  9. I don't know what I like best about chili, the beans, the spicy chili broth or the condiments such as avocado, cheese and soup crackers :) This is a great recipe to have on file (in the right file) for vegetarian guests!

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  10. I always think one meat-free day a week sounds good! Lovin' the addition of lentils in this recipe:@)

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  11. The topping looks almost better then the chili! What a great idea to top it with avocado and sour cream! We could use some now.

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  12. I made chili today too but Colin would not like it :) It is loaded with beef! Your chili sounds wonderful and an avocado makes everything better!

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  13. I made chili today too but Colin would not like it :) It is loaded with beef! Your chili sounds wonderful and an avocado makes everything better!

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  14. When our family gets together for a chili supper, one son brings venison chili, I make regular chili, and a daughter-in-law makes vegetarian and the vegetarian chili goes quickly.

    Yours is so pretty too. I didn't know that you keep avocados in the fridge. Do you let them ripen first and then refrigerate?

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    1. Dewena: I only recently learned that one can extend the "life" of an avocado by refrigerating it after it starts to soften. Since I usually buy a bag of 4-5, this often happens. The one I used in the chili had been in the drawer for a little over a week and had only a few darkened spots.

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  15. Hi, I'm sure that was good Chili-- but I need some MEAT in mine. ha ha (ME BAD!!!)

    Looks healthy though --which is what I 'need'...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  16. That looks like a great chili whether you're vegetarian or not! Though I do eat meat, I try to eat vegetarian meals several times a week. Avocados are always a great addition to chili! :)

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  17. I indeed would enjoy a big bowl of yours, since I do very little cooking for just me.

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  18. I love chili of all kinds as my husband and I like beans. I always have avocado on hand although my hubby doesn't care for them., so I'd leave them off his serving!

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  19. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

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