The first time I made chili it was a disaster. Wanting to have lots of extra for lunches and possibly two dinners, I doubled the recipe. I carefully prepared the beans, vegetables, herbs and spices. After letting the chili simmer for a little while I took a taste. It was SO spicy! Unbearably spicy, we are talking mouth, lips and face on fire spicy! You see I had used Indian chili powder instead of regular chili powder and I found out the hard way that all chili powders are not made equal. Several attempts to quell the heat did nothing. It ended up in the freezer as I didn’t have the heart to throw it all out. When we moved I found the chili at the bottom of the freezer and had to relive the shame all over again when I tossed it in the garbage.
It took me a long time to brave a chili recipe again but this time I found redemption! Being a busy household with lots of activities during the week, we need nutritious and freezable meals and this chili exactly fits the bill. Mushrooms are the secret to getting the perfect texture. Chopped up, they provide the hearty, “meaty” bites needed to make a genuine chili. The spices and herbs meld perfectly with the vegetables and the tomato base is easily soaked up by the kidney beans and black beans making them extremely flavourful. Delicious! This recipe freezes very well for lunches and just gets tastier and tastier as time passes and the flavours develop.
My kids don’t generally care for tomato based stews but I found that by pureeing a few cups of this chili and using it as a pasta sauce I was able to get them to eat this nutritious dish without any protest. In fact they enjoyed it so much they requested it again a few days later!
I usually make this on a Sunday and set aside half for a quick dinner for a busy night in the week and divide the rest into individual servings for lunches for Adam and I. I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think!
- 3 cups white mushrooms, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, peeled and diced
- 2-3 peppers, diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
- Cilantro (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 796 ml can chopped tomatoes
- 1 398 ml can tomato sauce
- 1 398 ml can kidney beans
- 1 398 ml can black beans
- 1 tbsp chili powder (to taste*)
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp organo
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- Heat oil in a large pot on medium.
- Sauté onions, garlic and celery until soft.
- Add mushrooms. Sauté until cooked through.
- Add the peppers and zucchini. Stir to combine.
- Add spices and bay leaves and stir. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add broth, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes.
- Simmer for another 20 minutes with lid off.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Add corn. Cook until corn is heated through.
- Garnish with cilantro if desired.
- If chili tastes too acidic, balance the flavour by adding date paste until acidity is neutralized.