Vegetarian Chilli for Rainy Days
Vegetarian chilli for rainy days or one of the best healthy-ish comfort food
- 150g dry black or kidney beans
- 2 springs of thyme
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 big carrot
- 1 parsnip
- 20g dark chocolate
- 2 red peppers
- 1 red chili of your choice
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado
- 50g cheddar
- 100g Greek yogurt
- green coriander
- cooked rice
- Slow cooker
- Tin foil
- Pot with lid
September came and with it, so did the rain. But I don't actually mind. I just move to the autumn recipes and try to make the best out of each day. For instance, one of our go-to meals for rainy days in which we want comfort food but still want to keep it healthy-ish is this vegetarian chilli.
Well, because it's beany, and creamy and cheesy and super delicious. Yes, you've read that right. This is not a vegan chili recipe. I mean, I serve it with cheddar and Greek yogurt. But if you don't want any dairy products in your dish, just substitute them with plant-based ingredients. This being said, let me tell you how to prepare our vegetarian chilli recipe.
But before that, I want you to know that there are two ways you can play with this dish. You can either take the longer or, the shorter road. I have to say that I did use the shortcut for this, let's call it, vegetarian chilli con carne recipe, and it's not quite the same. I am talking about beans. You can boil them, or you can use pre-boiled canned beans. So if you decide to go with the canned ones, just skip the next steps.
- Wash your beans and cover them with tap water. You will need to let them soak for at least 8 hours, but overnight is better.
If you have a slow cooker, I recommend you use it. I discovered that it's the best way to have the beans boiled and delicious.
- After your beans are all puffed and doubled in size, transfer them along with their water (some say that you need to change the water a couple of times; I don't see the need) in your pot of choice. Add more water if needed. The beans need to be 100% covered in water.
- Add four peeled cloves of garlic, two thyme springs, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt, then get ready for the boiling part. If you use a slow cooker, you should keep them on low heat for 4-5 hours. Cooking them on the stove will require around 2 hours on medium heat and periodically adding more water.
- With the beans ready, you can now focus on the rest.
- The next step is roasting your peppers.
I do this in the oven, but you can roast them in direct flame or in any way you want. Therefore, if you have a different method, just use it. I work with the oven simply because my stove is electric and grilling them makes a tone of smoke.
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F). Add tin foil directly on the oven's base or into a tray. Place the peppers and the chili on the tin foil and let them roast, turning them every few minutes. You want them to be nice and roasted but not burned. When ready, place them in a pot, sprinkle salt all over them, and cover the pot with the lid. This will help you peel them much easier.
- Let the peppers rest for 15 minutes or so, peel them, and take out the spine. I like to cut the peppers into strips, but you can also go with dice.
Can vegetarian chili be prepared without roasting the peppers? Yes. You can use both raw red peppers and chilis. However, the smokiness they bring to the plate can't be matched by any spice you add. But in the end, it will be your vegetarian chilli con carne. So you do exactly how you feel and like. Moving on.
- Peel and finely chop an onion. Cook it on medium heat in a tbsp of olive oil until soft and translucent. This should take around 3-4 minutes. Dice two garlic cloves, and cook them along with the onion for another 2 minutes.
- It's time to bring the rest of the ingredients to the party. So peel and cut your carrot and parsnip into 1 cm pieces. Then add them, along with your prepared red peppers and chili, to the pan.
- Also, bring in the cumin, coriander powder, dry oregano, canned tomatoes, your already boiled beans, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine everything and let them cook on medium-low for 30 minutes. This will allow the carrots and parsnip to cook.
- You want the liquid to reduce but not to become totally dry. So if you lose too much liquid, just add more stock.
This is a very good time to cook your rice. For this stage, you can either use a rice cooker or a normal pot. You can even go with pre-cooked rice if you want. Just make sure you have it ready for when the vegetarian chilli is ready.
- After 30 minutes, chop the dark chocolate and add it to the pan.
- Stir to combine until fully melted. Give it a taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
I have the stock seasoned and also the beans that are salty, so I don't feel the need for more. But again, you should make sure it's how you like it.
- Take the pan off the heat and get ready to serve. This is how we love to eat it, but feel free to enjoy it in any way you like - transfer some of the cooked rice to a bowl and top it with your chilli. Garnish everything with grated cheddar, Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, and green coriander.
So, is this the best vegetarian chili in the world? Well, we certainly feel like it. But you should definitely adapt it to suit your preferences. For instance, we sometimes add corn to the chili right before serving it. It's really a matter of taste as well as what you have available in the pantry.
Now for the historical part. Even though the meaty version known as 'chilli con carne' is much more famous than the vegetarian one, you should know that it came to be later on throughout the years. There are writings that talk about chili pepper bean stews eaten by the Aztecs that go all the way back to the 16th century. As for the meat addition, this came only after the Spanish colonization. And the first record of a similar dish came 300 years after, in the 19th century.
The best part of this dish? You always have leftovers. And they make the best Huevos Rancheros for the next day's breakfast.
For more Mexican-inspired dishes, you can check out our fish tacos. And if healthy-ish autumn food is what you like, then we have you covered as well. Just try out butternut squash salad. It's super delicious, perfect for a weekday, and super easy to prepare.
Anyhow, we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. So make sure you give us an Instagram tag when preparing our Vegetarian Chilli for Rainy Days.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 492
- Total Fat 24 g
- Cholesterol 14 mg
- Sodium 500 mg
- Potassium 995 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 56 g
- Sugars 10 g
- Protein 18 g