Friday, February 15, 2013

The Goods, Canned

Tired and hungry adults combined with a nearly-empty refrigerator and a sick baby meant dinner needed to be simple and easy tonight.  Over the years I've been testing various recipe and methods to get a decent pot of easy veggie chili out of the ingredients I almost always on have (read: canned goods).  There are some amazing chili recipes online that are much more involved -- click here for an amazing and quite involved recipe-- but what we're talking here is convenience that tastes good.

Chili A La Mode
(Greek yogurt is in fashion chez moi)
There's a lot of flexibility in this recipe but the two most important keys are:

1)  Be generous with the onion, garlic and dried spices, and
2)  Let the pot simmer as long as possible (no less than 45 minutes).

Really Easy Vegetarian Chili
About four servings.

About 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
About 1 tablespoon cumin powder
About 1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
About 1 teaspoon salt
Lots of fresh pepper
1/2 cup of salsa
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto (or other) beans, drained
1 can black (or other) beans, drained
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup quinoa (optional)

Saute the onions in the olive oil until they begin to soften, then add the garlic and saute a few minutes more.  Add all the spices, stir and saute a minute or two more.  Then add all of the other ingredients and stir to combine well.  Turn the heat to high and once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer, partially covered.

The minimum it should simmer is 15 minutes-- that's how long the quinoa needs to cook.  But for the best taste, you should let it simmer for at least a half hour and ideally 45 minutes to an hour.  Just be sure to stir the pot regularly and if it starts to get dry at all, add some vegetable stock or water.

Serve by itself or with any or all of the accoutrements:
Greek yogurt
avocado slices
fresh cilantro
hot sauce
lime wedges

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