Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hearty Rainbow Vegetable Chili (vegan)

It has been cold and wintry the past few days and there is no better way to warm-up the chill but with a big pot of vegetable chili. Lots of veggies and lots of beans to comfort the cold and weary soul. Warming on so many levels. Then you add the spices and some warm vegan cornbread and you are set to hibernate for a quick meal after playing out in the snow. Or at least set to hibernate for a few days! 
Just look at all those colorful veggies- That's why I called this "rainbow-vegetable" chili. It was one of those days when I was cleaning out the fridge in the middle of the latest snow storm I decided that the colorful arrangement of purple cabbage, yellow sweet potatoes, orange carrots and green kale was such a pretty color combo that they had to be put to good use in a big pot of something warm. Why not chili? And why not fill up on a colorful rainbow of veggies in one meal? You won't be missing meat in this dish, the veggie combo and the shredded cooked cabbage (great ground meat sub) really make a perfect vegan meal. It is so simple and makes a huge pot of goodness to warm up for days or share with friends.
Plus, I have been inspired as of late to try and eat more vegetables in the winter months. I sometimes feel guilty for eating frozen, out of state, or canned veggies in the winter, and seem to sadly eat less for that reason. Which in return slows down your digestion and may even cause more digestive build-up in the end. Yeah yeah, it's winter so it is time to be eating and digesting more slowly. And, spring is a time to detox and summer is a time to be rejuvenated with lots of vitamin D and fresh foods. But still, you have to keep trying to fill your plate with as many colors and vegetables as you can, all year a bowl of this amazingly filled vegetable chili will be good for you on so many levels this time of year.

I made a double batch of this chili so that I could have leftovers, freeze some and share with friends. So I will share the more 'normal' sized recipe and you can decide if you want to make a ginormous batch or not :0 It's completely up to you. I always say that I rather do the cooking once and have something nutritious to warm up on the stove for lunches and dinners. I guess it's convenience in the 'real food world'. 

Hearty Rainbow Vegetable Chili Recipe (vegan)
1-2 TB of sauteing oil (grapeseed, olive, ghee)
1 large yellow or red onion, finely chopped
1 heaping cup of chopped celery
1 large bell pepper chopped
4-5 finely minced garlic cloves
1 cup of chopped carrots
1-2 cups of finely chopped purple cabbage
1 cup of chopped sweet potato
4-5 cups of vegetable broth
4 cups of blended (pureed) stewed or canned tomatoes
1 15 ounce can or 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans
1 15 ounce can or 1 1/2 cups of cooked pinto beans
1 15 ounce can or 1 1/2 cups of cooked kidney beans
1 heaping cup of finely chopped fresh kale
1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 TB of chili powder
1 TB of ground cumin
1 ts. of ground paprika
dash or 1/4 ts. of ground ginger and cinnamon
cracked pepper and sea salt to your taste

In a large 8 quart pot, on medium heat, saute the chopped onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until soft. Then add in the cabbage, carrots and sweet potato to cook and saute for a few minutes as well. Then add the tomatoes, broth and beans and bring to a strong boil. Then reduce heat and add in the kale and cilantro and spices. Then cook until chili is reduced and cooked. Time to cook varies from 45 minutes to an hour. You can also add all but the fresh greens to a slow cooker plus 1 cup of water and cook on medium to low heat for 7-8 hours (or medium heat for 4-6). 
Serve chili with fresh herbs, avocado, scallions, tortilla chips, over a bed of brown rice or quinoa. Or over some polenta or fresh corn bread. Perfect for a winter day. Perfect for hibernating. This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

I hope to share my vegan cornbread recipe in the next post to follow up with a perfect pair for this one pot dish. It is budget friendly and full of vitamins, fiber and hearty goodness. It is meals like this that helps me save on my GF grocery budget and still feel completely nourished and fulfilled.

I hope you have a warm weekend with lots of relaxing time to read, catch up on sleep or play in the powdery white stuff outside.

Much love as always- Stephanie

1 comment:

  1. What a hearty and nourishing chili! I love all of the beautiful colors in it too from the vegetables.