Buying animal products to eat on a daily basis can put a dent in your bank account, and it also isn’t always healthy to be eating meat or full fat animal products each day. Incorporating a meal or two each week that is meatless but still packs a punch of flavor for the avid meat eater, can be good for their health and their budget. I enjoy making meatless meals when I want to take a bit of a break from animal meats or fish. At first it might not be easy for someone to break away from having meats all the time, but I have gotten used to wanting to have a day or two where I don’t have animal products. I tend to be just as satisfied with having meals with beans, vegetables or whole grains in them.
One night when I wasn’t sure what was going to be cooked, I remembered there were canned beans in the pantry, some quinoa, along with a few types of vegetables in the fridge. The idea of making a vegan chili came into my head because its fairly simple and doesn’t take that long to make. You can put lots of different vegetables of your choice but in this recipe I chose to put in chopped mushrooms for a meaty texture, along with zucchini, onion, bell pepper and corn. I used two types of beans too for different flavor and texture. I don’t make it too spicy and just add red pepper flakes, but if you want to be more traditional and use fresh chili you can incorporate chopped jalapeno. If you aren’t a fan of quinoa you can try out any other grain that you like. I even went a little less of a conventional route and added curry powder to the chili at the end and it gave a depth of flavor. So here is my recipe with my added flair. Enjoy.
Meat Free Vegetable and Bean Chili
Servings: 3-4 along with leftovers Total cooking time: 30-40 minutes
- 15 oz can black beans
- 15 oz can red kidney beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 package (8 oz) mushrooms chopped
- 1 bell pepper (green or yellow) chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 2 zucchini chopped into small cubes
- 2 big pinches red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- Serve with quinoa or rice (1 cup dried)
- First cook mushrooms to cook out moisture. Heat oil in a pan and saute until the water is cooked out and reduced, and the mushrooms have slightly browned and gotten a little crispy.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes to lightly brown the onion and make translucent.
- Next add the peppers, zucchini, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for another five minutes before adding the can of crushed tomatoes.
- Cover the pan and once the mixture is bubbling, bring the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes to finish softening the vegetables and develop flavor. Add in the curry powder once you start simmering the mixture.
- For the last five minutes add in the frozen corn to cook, and the 2 cans of beans to heat through.
- Serve over quinoa or rice and Enjoy.