We love chili around here. It’s pretty much our go-to when it comes to one pot meals that are filling and entirely delicious.
But chili, traditionally speaking, always has meat in it. So when I was thinking of putting chili on the two week meal plan for my new vegetarian friend, I found myself a bit stumped.
Luckily, I am always up for a challenge. I decided to get to work right away on a delicious vegetarian chili. (It happens to be vegan as well, just as long as you don’t top it with cheese)!
I have mentioned it before, but we love black beans. They are definitely a staple in our pantry, and probably always will be. We also absolutely LOVE sweet potatoes, and they are a staple here, too, as long as we can find a good price on them.
Oh, and we regularly put carrots in our chili, even when it isn’t vegetarian, so I knew that we could add those and it would give some bulk to the chili.
But we needed more color and more variety.
So corn, zucchini, and summer squash were my picks.
And as always, tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes, depending on your preference).
The only thing that I found to be a bit of a challenge was getting that thick “stew like” consistency that often comes with having a ton of meat in chili.
Ultimately, I achieved that consistency by simmering my chili long enough, and by not adding all the liquid at once, but rather adding it as I needed it. You can always water something down. You can’t always make something thicker without adding ingredients that make the dish less clean.
The flavor was spot on as far as chili is concerned. It was also so full of variety that I did not even miss the meat.
We enjoyed our chili with avocado on the top, and some clean southern cornbread muffins on the side.
Oh, and this one pot of chili served us 7 meals, and we got seconds each time… So I guess you could technically say it was 14 servings, but perhaps if we had just gotten bigger bowls of it and not had leftovers, it would have been more like ten servings.
Even if you normally frown upon vegetarian meals, I highly recommend giving this a try. It is definitely worth a shot, and if you find that you just have to have meat… you can always cook a little something up to have on the side.
One final note, I firmly believe in altering quantities of spice in order to meet individual preference. If you want to make it richer, add more chili powder and cumin. Want a bit more spice? Just add a jalapeño or some hot sauce. If you want it saltier, by all means, add more salt!
You do you- just enjoy!