veggie chili

Why does a holiday Monday throw me off so much? Can’t believe it’s Thursday tomorrow and more veg is on its way. Time to get cooking. I promise to have a solution for the dill soon — haven’t yet had time to mull that over but it’s doing just fine in the fridge so there’s no huge sense of urgency there.

I have a plethora of peppers in the fridge, so that’s what I’m creating meals around right now. My parents brought a few from there garden, then there are one or two more from here and there, plus the shepherd peppers from a couple of weeks worth of of Loft bags. They won’t last forever so I’m on the hunt for ideas.

Two or three peppers went into vegetarian chili for tonight’s dinner, which I made in the slow cooker. The recipe was inspired by one from Simply in Season, a wonderful little book commissioned by the Mennonite Central Committee that is more than worth having if you are into seasonal eating. It allows you to look up recipes by vegetable, which is great. You can get the book (by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert) through bookstores, but I picked mine up at the little Mennonite museum in St. Jacobs for $20.

Vegetarian Chili
Yields 5 litres

2 lbs any combination of dried beans such as pink, pinto, navy, kidney, soy, black or chickpeas
1 tbsp oil
1 cup sweet red pepper
1 cup green pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups tomatoes, chopped (I used a couple large cans of tomatoes)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (you could use sweet potato, too — say 2 or 3, depending on size)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp honey, molasses or sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin

Rinse and soak dried beans in water overnight. Drain water. Cook in fresh water until soft, 45 to 60 minutes or longer, depending on the beans used.

In a large soup pot, heat oil. Add peppers, onion and garlic, saute until soft.

Add tomatoes, salt and honey, heat to boiling, add beans, squash/sweet potato and spices. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.


– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.