Easy Vegetarian Chili (no soy, no tomatoes)!

So my 7 year old decided a few months ago that she was going to be a vegetarian.  Have you ever driven up the 5 freeway (through central California).  Yeah.  If you have, you know what I’m talking about.  Thousands of poor cows just jammed into stalls and standing in what appears to be their own excrement.  And, of course, we eat that.  Lovely.  So yes, my little 7 year old absorbed that and decided – no more!

So I try to be accommodating.  It’s actually amazing how many kid foods are already vegetarian.  You’ve got Mac N’ Cheese, spaghetti, quesadillas, bean & cheese burritos, just to name a few.


I used to cook a lot with the Deceptively Delicious book.  It’s a great book.  You puree veggies in advance and then hide them in your food.  This works really good for us adults who really don’t like many veggies.  So I started doing this again because if I’m limiting her plate to vegetarian food, I want to make sure she is getting veggies with protein in it, even if she doesn’t tend to like those ones.

Now here’s the hard part.  If you don’t start your kids off as vegetarians, they’ve already got that, “Ew, what is that?” attitude toward a lot of them.  So most cook books really suck.  My kids won’t eat some veggies.  They don’t like “spicy” food, which is what a lot of vegetarian cookbooks do to cover their more flavorless recipes and by-the-way, I’m allergic to soy.  So no tofu as a filler over here. Ok, so now that we have all the challenges listed, I decided to go ahead and try to make chili.  This recipe is a combination from the Deceptively Delicious recipe and one from a vegaterian cookbook.  I think it turned out amazing and with a bit of playing around, it can be even better.  But, here it is in its infancy stage.  I honestly can’t wait to make it again.

Recipe

Olive oil

1 can red kidney beans

1 can white kidney beans

1 bell pepper, chopped finely (I used yellow)

1/4 white onion, chopped finely

1 butternut squash (or bag of prepared butternut squash)

1/4 cup cornmeal or flour

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 carton (26 ounce) of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

3 medium carrots or carrot puree

Directions:

  1. Roast the butternut squash, or if purchase prepared, place in a skillet with a teaspoon over medium-high heat, cook squash until golden (about 10 minutes) along with the carrots.
  2. About 5 minutes into cooking the squash and carrots, add the bell pepper and another teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. About 8 minutes into cooking the squash and carrots, add the onion.  Set all 3 ingredients aside.
  4. In another skillet, pour the broth, add the seasonings, flaxseed, carrot puree (if that is the option you chose), and cornmeal.  Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.  Then reduce heat and simmer, covered 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add in beans and veggies from step 1 until heated through (just a few minutes).

Prep time is about 5 minutes.  Cooking time is about 35.  Serves about 6.

These figures are based on taking the easy way out of everything.  My carrots were pre-pureed, as recommended in the Deceptively Delicious book and my butternut squash was just the pre-packaged kind.  I’m sure this would have tasted even better if I’d rosted my own, but still, I was so happy with this one.  It was a little soupy, but considering my entire family hates tomatoes, I was not going to add tomato paste, like so many recipes call for.  A little soupy = more dipping bread!  So no complaints over here.

If you try this and tweak it, please share.  I’d love to hear the variations.  And, of course, you can always add ground meat as well.

 

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