Vegetarian Chili (or, yet another good bean recipe!)

16 Jul

I hesitate in summertime to do beans from dry because I don’t want to simmer anything for an hour in this heat! (I am sure a slow-cooker would be a solution, but I don’t have one and don’t have room for one). So, it’s cans for me, and if they have a pull-off top, even better. I want to minimize all movement in the Hazy, Hot, Humidity of a Long Island summer (Ditto for wine bottles…a screw top is high up on my ratings rubric right now; corks take too much work!)

In fact, I want to keep cooking to a minimum, so rather than season my ground beef or even have to defrost and simmer the pre-made stuff I have stocked in the freezer, my “chili” has gone vegetarian. I call it “chili” because I add chili powder, but I make no claims to authenticity. If you want to call it rice and beans with chili seasoning, by all means do. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” to quote a certain lovelorn 13-year-old from Verona.

Whatever you call it, it will be ready to eat in about 15 minutes, and I call that fast!

Vegetarian Chili (or rice and beans with chili powder!)

1 Tbs olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped fine (about 1/2 Cup)

½ medium red bell pepper chopped fine (about 1/2 Cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping Tbs tomato paste

15.5 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp chile powder

2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp thyme

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

Heat olive oil at medium-high in a saucepan until loose and fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat and reduce heat to medium. Add red pepper and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are translucent and soft. Add tomato paste, stir in to coat and cook for a minute.  Stir in beans, oregano, chile powder, cilantro, thyme, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Add ½ Cup water (more, if you want it more liquid) and cook for 15-20 minutes. Salt to taste and serve with white rice or wrapped in tortillas with cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa and all that fun Mexican restaurant-type stuff.

5 Responses to “Vegetarian Chili (or, yet another good bean recipe!)”

  1. Mad Dog July 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I love pulses, so even a vegetable menu gets me interested 😉
    I like the firm texture when cooked from dry, so I use a pressure cooker – it’s a one hour soak in boiling water and 15 minutes cooking time. Not quite a quick as a tin, but not too bad.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      Total agreement on texture. I really must get a pressure cooker…but where will I put it!!!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Total agreement on texture. I really must get a pressure cooker…but where will I put it!!! (Considered saying “tin” rather than “can” but I’m in America now!)

      • thepinkrachael July 18, 2012 at 1:45 am #

        Yeah, my chilli went veggie with tinned beans this week in the heat too! Like you, maybe it’s not actually chilli, but more chilli-ed up veggies, either way – yum!

      • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 18, 2012 at 7:02 am #

        Absolutely, Rachael. The tin is the way to go for me right now….Keep it cool and thanks for visiting!

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