it snowed last night. it snowed a lot. the only reasonable thing to do was make chili.
i didn’t get into chili until pretty recently (november 2012, actually). hurricaine sandy hit new jersey and we lost power for 11 days. the only places we went during that time were my brother’s house and my grandma’s apartment because they had electricity somehow, and the chimney rock inn a few miles away from us, which also happened to have power. and a fireplace. oh my gah. i ordered the vegetarian chili. after about a decade of veganism, i’ve learned not to be picky. when there’s one thing on the menu you can eat, you eat it. you eat it and like it. so i did. and it was freaking great. why had i been avoiding chili for so long? for someone who sneaks beans and tofu into pretty much everything she makes, it seemed silly to not just swap out meat for some kind of plant-based protein.
so i started making chili. i started with the most basic recipe possible and added a ton of flavor. the vegetables and spice blend were bland and there was no protein, chocolate or coffee. what? why? what? so now there is.
THREE BEAN CHILI
2T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 stalks celery, deiced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 dried chili peppers
1T ancho chili powder (if you don’t have this, just double the chili powder)
1T chili powder
28oz chopped tomatoes, canned
4 1/2c beans, drained and rinsed (i use three cans of whatever beans i have on hand, usually black, a red/pink bean, and chickpeas)
1T coarsely chopped vegan chocolate
chop all vegetables into uniform nuggets about the size of a bean (except the garlic and jalapeno- mince them) and saute all in the olive oil until soft, about 10-12 minutes. i usually chop the onion first so it has a little extra time to cook. add the spices and toss the veg to coat, and then pour in the tomatoes, water and coffee and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. then add the beans and chocolate and simmer for 30 more minutes. serve with sliced avocado and chips or cornbread or nothing.