Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vegetable Chili

This recipe is for my daughter, Chelsea, who is now on her own with no Mom to make it for her!  She requested it!  Ha!

I arrived at this recipe after I became a vegetarian, because my family loves chili, and they mourned its passing without taking into account that chili is also one of my favorites!  This is the end result, and we all agree that it tastes great and feels like "regular" chili in your mouth!  (I served it to my meat-and-potatoes dad, and he insisted I was wrong and that it had meat in it.  He wasn't kidding, which made it really funny!)

I highly recommend a food processor for this, if you're as impatient as I am!  On the other hand, my brother, Mark, and his wife, Kathy, happily chop together as they talk to each other!  They do this, they told me, because they love this chili, and they make it often.  

Like many of us, they're looking for tasty ways to include more vegetables in their diet, and they say that this is a favorite, not only of theirs, but also of friends and neighbors with whom they've shared it.

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbl. salt
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium-to-large onions, finely chopped
4 zucchini, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced (or 1 frozen cube, 1 tsp. jarred, or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder)
1 28-oz. can peeled, diced tomatoes, undrained (or 2 14.5-oz, cans)
2 c. tomato, or V8, juice
1 c. vegetable broth
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbl. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
Cayenne pepper:  1/8 tsp.--mild, 1/4 tsp.--medium, or 1/2 tsp.--hot!
2 Tbl. dried basil
1 Tbl. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tsp. unprocessed (gray-colored) sea salt, OR 1 1/2 tsp. regular salt
Garnishes:  shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions

Chop the eggplant and soak it in water with 1 Tbl. salt for 20-30 minutes.  Drain and rinse. 

In a large soup pot, sauté the eggplant in the olive oil over medium heat until it's tender.  (You might need to add a bit more oil during cooking.  The higher the cooking heat, the less oil is absorbed.  If you're willing to stand there and watch and stir it constantly so it doesn't burn, this is a great way to go!)  With a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a plate.

Add olive oil to the pot, if it's dry.  Toss in the onions, zucchini, and garlic, sautéing until tender.  Add the eggplant.  Add everything else except the garnishes.  Simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the chili tastes great!

CAUTION:  Since vegetables can become mush, you don't want to cook this chili all day!  An hour is about right, not only for the taste, but also for the mouth feel, which I think is important!  I cooked it all day once, thinking it needed cooking like regular chili, and I served it to guests!  Ha!  Nobody asked me for the recipe that time!  LOL!

Serve topped with the garnishes!  Enjoy!  

1 comment:

  1. I can attest for this one. LOVE it! Next step is getting Chelsea to make it for me! I think I will for sure clip this one. In a house of 3 boys, chili without beans is a MUST!!


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