Friday, December 10, 2010

Faceless Friday! It's vegan chili tonight!

I guess its like Meatless Monday.  I should start a Beany Wednesday, and Salad Saturday.  A friend of mine on Facebook said she was making veggie chili and it just got me craving it!  So I made a version of one, but I didn't take pictures this time.  It came out so good! Perfect for a snowy night.  Bisquick has a gluten free baking mix now, just make some biscuits to go with this.  If you tolerate corn, cornbread is ideal with this.  I'll try to share what I did.  I always use dried beans and soak them at least 4 hours or overnight.

Vegan Chili

3/4 c. kidney beans (all beans measured before soaking)
3/4 c. white northern beans
3/4 c. pinto, pink, cranberry, roman, or something else beans
3/4 cup black beans
1 c. brown lentils (I don't bother soaking these)
3 c. froz. cut green beans
1 lg. onion diced
2 ribs celery diced
2 carrots diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 pkg. mushrooms finely chopped with a food chopper or food processor. 
4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
3 T. red chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
1 T. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Olive oil for sauteing

In the bottom of a heavy stockpot, drizzle a few T. of olive oil in the pan and heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrot and saute for a few minutes.  Add the bell pepper, mushroom, and garlic and saute a few minutes more.  Add all the soaked beans (discard the soaking water) and 3 quarts of fresh water (That's a really rough estimate. I was eyeballing it.)  Add the can of crushed tomatoes and the herbs and spices.  Stir occasionally and simmer for an hour, then add the lentils and cook for around an hour more, or until the beans are done.  You may have to add water during the cooking time.  That's what I had to do.  Adjust the seasonings before serving. Serve with any appropriate toppings like non-dairy sour cream, or goat cheese, or veggie shreds, etc. 

*Note:  Baking soda is a great trick for softening the beans.  Add 1/2 t. to your pot when you add your beans, this will shorten the cooking time a little, and make them melt in your mouth!  Once you've had homemade beans, there's no going back to canned!  Don't add too much baking soda or it will foam up too much and taste weird.

**Another Note: Substitute your favorite beans.  Chickpeas are great in this, any combination works.  I usually keep the kidney beans because they seem so perfect for chili.

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