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Monday, January 17, 2011

Basic Vegetarian Chili

Unlike its slow-cooking, meaty brethren, this chili recipe is easy, fast, and vegetarian.
It makes for a hearty weeknight dinner.
Freeze leftovers in small containers for a ready-to-eat meal.

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, medium dice
1 carrot, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
"Kosher salt"
"Freshly ground black pepper"
1 bell pepper, medium dice
1 zucchini, medium dice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 15-ounce cans light kidney, dark kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
Chopped cilantro, for garnish optional
Quartered lime pieces, for garnish optional
Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco, for garnish optional
Sour cream, for garnish optional

1.  Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat
until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the bell pepper and zucchini to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the cumin and
chili powder and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are knife
tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3.  Add the beans, water, and tomatoes with their juices and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high
and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the vegetables are soft and the
flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if
necessary. Serve and garnish as desired.

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