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Vegetarian Chili

If you've been keeping up with some of the health news that we feature on our website and in our blog, you'll know that we are big fans of reducing the amount of animal protein we eat. There are significant studies which discusses the health benefits (limit cancer risk, reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, live longer) and the environmental benefits (reducing carbon footprint, minimize water use, reduce dependence on fossil fuel) of reduing the amount of animal protein you ingest.

So, what better way to start than with a classic like CHILI. I LOVE chili - especially on a cold day. I'm a fan of one-pot cooking and having a meal in a bowl - everything is in one place. And, you can add toppings like cheese, sour cream (or strained plain yogurt), avocados, crispy tortilla strips, etc. Who doesn't like toppings?

Once you taste this chili, you won't miss the ground beef, ground turkey or whatever meat you typically include in your recipe. But, if you're really desperate for that "meaty texture", you could add something like extra firm tofu (crumbled) or tempeh.


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Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
1 medium zucchini, cut into smal dice
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 lbs portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sour cream or strained plain yogurt (garnish)
Diced avocado (garnish)
Essense Creole seasoning (see below)

Instructions:
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over brown rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.

Emeril's Essence:
Emeril's Essence: 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon dried oregano and 1 tablespoon dried thyme. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Food Network