Vegan Crockpot Chili

No. This is not a foodie blog. Or a recipe blog. So don't have any expectations that you will find your next gourmet dinner posted somewhere on this site. Actually this blog isn't really about anything in particular, but rather a hodge-podge eclectic mix of random musings and ramblings by yours truly.

Today, however it is a recipe blog because I thought it time I shared my famous vegan chili recipe with the rest of the free world. And I wanted to pin it to my pinterest board. Today I am making this dish by request of my 5 year old. It is her absolute favorite and I like to make my girl smile. Besides, who can argue with a 5 year old wanting to eat something so ridiculously healthy?

Admittedly, I am a cook by sight/taste/feel kinda gal and rarely take exact measurements. But for all you anal compulsive measurers out there I decided to write down some "ballpark" estimates for you. By all means tweak and modify to your hearts content to get it just right for you.

1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
2 cups peeled and chopped carrots
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 green pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup frozen corn
1 small can sliced black olives - drained
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 can of each black, pinto, kidney and great northern beans - drained and rinsed
1 serving of homemade chili seasoning

Wash, chop, drain and rinse everything and throw it all together in the crock pot. Stir it all up and cook on low 8-10 or high 4-6 hours. I usually serve this with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar (and a nice huge handful of nacho chips) which makes it not vegan anymore, but still most definitely vegetarian and quite possibly the healthiest thing you can put in your mouth.

As a bonus, today only, you get 2 for the price of 1! Yes. Two recipes in one blog post. It's probably the most blogging you'll get out of me for the next 3 months so don't get too excited.

After that little health challenge I took last year I have become a compulsive label reader (yes, even more so than I was before). Since I didn't understand half the ingredients in my old stand-by cheater chili seasoning packet I decided it was time to make my own. This is mostly borrowed from a recipe I found on allrecipes with just a few minor tweaks.

3 Tbsp flour
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust to your desired heat level)
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
mix together and store in an airtight container.

This makes about 2 servings for my crockpot chili (5-6 quarts). I usually mix up a fresh batch when I make chili and store half in a recycled spice jar for the next time.

Please note I feed this to my Minnesota born, Norwegian heritage children so it is most definitely not spicy. If you like your chili to have a little heat I suggest increasing the amount of crushed red pepper to the spice mix and tossing in a can of green chilies and/or a diced jalapeno to the chili to give it some more zing.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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