Chili is pretty much a tailor-made dish for winter. It’s hot and steamy, and spicy to warm you up, plus you can use up a bunch of winter veggies that you might have trouble using otherwise (cabbage anyone?). The absolute best thing about my recipe for veggie chili, though, is that I make it in the crock pot, so I can throw it all together in the morning and then forget about it until it’s time to eat.
This recipe is easily varied by adding different types of beans, or throwing in different veggies you may have on hand. I know it sounds odd, but I’ve added things like carrots before and it all just cooks into the chili and you’d never know it was there — but yay for extra veggies!
This makes a big batch (halve it if you have a smaller crock pot), but it freezes really well, so I like that it makes a lot. Serve it with cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapeños, and/or chips. Lately I’m loving Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips, and they’re great with this.
2 cans of beans,* drained and rinsed
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 colored bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 head cabbage (green or purple), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup diced potatoes (optional)
2 cups chopped tomatoes, or one 10 oz can of tomatoes, with liquid
1 to 2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
4 cups water or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of canola oil until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped bell pepper, cabbage, potatoes (if using), tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.
Transfer to slow cooker. Add the beans, rice, and broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Season to taste.
* You can use whatever you have on hand, but this time I used one can of kidney beans and one can of refried black beans (to thicken up the chili a bit and give it some texture), and it was great.