Spice in the Kitchen: Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Chili

This used to be a staple at our house back in the first-baby-in-infancy crazy days. It's like a home cooked meal that you don't really have to do anything to make. Just open up stuff and dump it in the soup pan! It cooks itself! If you are in a real hurry, you can use frozen peppers and spinach, or if you are in a slow mood, use pre-soaked, dried beans and cut your own veggies. Great for big parties in the winter. Keep it warm in a crock pot and put out various topping for your friends to dress their own bowls. Chili bar party!

Easiest, Best Ever Vegetarian/Vegan Bean Chili Recipe
serves 6

  • 3 15-ounce (about 5 1/2 cups) cans of beans (I used black, pinto and cannellini.)
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach (3 cups fresh, chopped fine) (Tip: Trader Joe's sell an organic version.)
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (1/2" pieces) (Tip: Trader Joe's sells chopped, frozen peppers.)
  • 1/2 TB olive oil
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp hing (or use onion)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • crushed black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 TB mild Mexican hot sauce (Our favorite is Valentina Salsa Picante) (optional)
  • 1 TB of brown sugar (optional)
  1. Sauté spices in oil. Add peppers and spinach, sauté for minute and then add tomato sauce, salt, pepper and hot sauce (and sugar if you chose). Add rinsed and drained beans. Let simmer for at least a half hour, best is for about 2 hours on the very lowest heat. Or make the whole thing in a crock pot and do even less work.
Chili bar party suggestions: 
Toppings: Cheddar cheese (for non-vegans), daiya cheese (for vegans), hot sauces, jalapenos, onions, corn, tortilla chips, sautéed soy crumbles, chopped tomatoes
Serve with: Cornbread, rice

Chili Left-overs?
Burritos: Add chili, cheese and rice in the middle of a whole wheat shell and roll it up.
Bean quesadilla: Whole wheat tortilla shell, cheese and chili. Fill shell, fold in half and fry.
Nachos: Top nachos with chili and toppings.
Cornbread chili pancakes: This is what I will do tomorrow, I'll let you know how they turn out!

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  1. I tried this last night. It was yummy! I used a few substitutions (frozen tomatoes and tomato paste and salsa instead of hot sauce). I have some trouble with food improvisation so it must be a good recipe if things still worked out! I also made up some cornbread and it was all fast enough to free up most of my evening for some jewelry making- yay! Thanks!

  2. Oh yay! I'm going to try making a pancake with cornbread and some of the chili (I froze some). We'll see how it works out! Glad you liked the recipe!


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