VANILLA LATTE is a blog dedicated to food & travel with occasional random stuff thrown in. It is managed and written by me, Maggie Ha.

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Vegetarian Chili 11Apr09

Vegetarian Chili

Earlier this week, someone asked me for a vegetarian chili recipe. I realized I didn’t have my own written down anywhere. I’ve made it before, maybe not exactly the same each time but pretty close.  I like my chili a bit more on the watery side but you can just alter the recipe depending on what you like. This recipe is jam packed with flavor, you can add some meat to it if you like, ground beef or turkey or even steak chunks. Or for extra crunch and flavor, you could use bacon!

I love chili because you can dress it up however you want. You can make it really spicy or you can make it mild. You can use just about any beans you like and you can add in vegetables like zucchini or carrots if you want it more on the hearty vegetables side. The best thing about chili is that you can top it off with your favorite topping. I love a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and big dollop of sour cream and a little green onion.

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
handful of sliced jalapeños, diced
1 cup of frozen corn
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 cans of peeled tomatoes
1 small container of tomato paste (140g size)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of 4 bean mix beans
1 small can of vegetarian baked beans (220g size, about a cup)
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of vegetable stock (optional)

Step 1: The herbs!
In a mortar and pestle, crush up the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, dried parsley, dried oregano, and chili powder. Mash it up till all the seeds are broken. Keep this aside for later.

Step 2: The sauté!
In a dutch oven or medium pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Toss in the finely chopped onion and coarsely chopped garlic and let that cook for about 2 minutes. Now throw in the chopped bell peppers, chopped jalapeños and red chili. Cook that down until the onions are a bit translucent, just another 3 minutes or so. Now throw in the herb mixture, cayenne pepper, season with salt and pepper and let the vegetables cook down, should about another 5 to 8 minutes, stir occasionally.

Step 3: The stew!
In a bowl pour in the entire contents of the canned tomatoes, juice and all. Use your hands to crush down the tomatoes into small chunks. Pour the crushed tomatoes and juice into the pot and mix well with the vegetables. Add in all the cans of beans, corn and tomato paste. You can add in the vegetable stock if you like your chili to be a bit more watery. Mix together then bring the pot to a boil on high heat and then lower the heat to low and let the whole mixture simmer covered for about an hour, stirring occasionally. If it’s too thin for your liking, you can let it simmer uncovered till it gets to how you want it. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter before serving.

Garnishes! I love chili because there’s a million different things you can put on it. I like food you can interact with :) My favorite toppings are grated cheddar cheese, green onions, chopped fresh tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream. You can add crispy bacon bits, fresh avocado, or even serve it in a bread bowl! I made jalapeño cornbread to go with mine! Hope you like it!

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili



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Ground Support

My local favorite is currently Ground Support in SOHO. I go there almost every day for a smooth creamy soy cappuccino or if it’s hot out an iced soy latte. When I’m not in a hurry to run out, I try to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the coffee in the shop… you know, chat with the staff, catch up on some calls and best of all… people watch. Always some interesting characters in NYC!

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