Finding ourselves on the brink of autumn, with school and work-life back in full swing, this September (much like last) I’ll be sharing a series of one-pot, super simple, and inexpensive yet healthful recipes- perfect for those on a tight or student’s budget, with a particularly small kitchen, or with a sparse amount of free time (check, check, check to all of the above!). Limited resources- financial, space, or otherwise- shouldn’t have to put a damper on your nutrition needs or access to a delicious meal- look no further. Despite Washington, DC’s current high of 93 degrees, as soon as the clock struck September, Andrew entered pumpkin beer and chilly weather chili mode, taking his flannel pajamas out of storage hibernation, pondering his own bunkering, that long DC winter ahead. It was quite the morning. And though we’re still bumping that AC on high and parading around in our shortest jogging shorts, it’s hard not to notice the crunchy little leaves beginning to accumulate, promises of apple picking and breezy evenings ahead. A (very) budget friendly combination of dried lentils and brown rice, canned cannellini beans, and diced tomatoes, today I couldn’t be more excited to share our latest early autumn favorite, my Chunky Tomato Chili. Plant based protein and fiber rich, this hearty, yet healthful mild vegan vegetable chili requires only minutes of chopping, simmering to dreamy perfection while you bop about, making enough servings to last through the week ahead. I serve mine topped with fresh cilantro, a quarter of ripe avocado if I’m extra hungry, and a corny cornbread donut for dunking.
Chunky Tomato Chili [makes 6 servings]
notes: (1) for this recipe I used a food processor to finely chop the onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger. If a food processor is inaccessible, feel free to use a sharp knife and finely dice the vegetables by hand. (2) this chili does thicken up quite a bit after it sits. When reheating, I’d recommend adding ½ cup filtered water or vegetable broth per serving to thin.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled
1 Anaheim pepper (or any mild pepper), deseeded
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
1 rounded tablespoon chili powder
1 rounded teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
3 cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup dried green lentils
½ cup dried bulgur wheat
½ cup brown rice (I used Jasmine)
1 rounded tablespoon raw cacao powder
4 cups filtered water
salt & pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until just hot.
Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to pot and sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in chili power and cumin and continue to sauté for an additional minute, or until spices are very fragrant.
Increase heat to medium-high and stir in adobo sauce, tomatoes, beans, lentils, bulgur, rice, cacao, and water. Bring pot to a gentle boil then reduce heat to low. Cover pot and allow chili to simmer for 45-50 minutes or until all grains are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy.
Nutritional Information [per serving = 2 cups]
360 Calories, 4g Fat, 66g Carbohydrates, 20.6g Fiber, 10g Sugar, 19.5g Protein