chiliWinter is that time of year when hearty soups and stews come out of hiding. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or just a blustery cold day nothing spells warmth and comfort quite like a piping hot bowl of chili paired with Gluten-Free Sun Dried Tomato Cornbread Muffins with a schmear of vegan Cilantro, Lime, Jalapeno Pesto. There’s something about dipping cornbread in chili that makes you feel as if you’re slipping under a soft down comforter. In weaning myself off red meat this chili became a primary staple. Packed sky-high in nutrients of vitamin-A, calcium, and potassium, Omega-3 from chia seeds, and fiber, coupled with added fortification of corn and beans, provides the needed complex protein to make this a perfect vegan main dish. What I don’t eat, I portion and freeze so I always have it on hand to get me through the long winter months.

Recipe notes: Can be made a head and kept frozen. What you will need: Large skillet and 4-qt stock pot. Prep time 20 minutes. Cooking time 30-45 minutes. Yield 6-8 servings. Difficulty level: Moderately easy. Nutrient values based per serving.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1-cup diced red onion
  • 1 ½-lbs Roma tomatoes diced
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  • 1-eggplant cubed into medium size chunks
  • 2-large summer squash or zucchini cubed into medium size chunks
  • Salt & pepper
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  • 1-28oz can diced low-sodium-tomatoes
  • 1-28oz can low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1-14oz can low-sodium black beans or kidney beans
  • 2-cups frozen corn
  • ¼-cup chili seasoning mix
  • 1-cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2-cup ground chia seeds

Preparation:

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  1. Heat oil in large skillet.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper and tomatoes.
  3. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Sauté on high heat for 5-minutes then transfer to 4-quart pot.
  5. Using the same skillet, pan roast squash and eggplant turning frequently to avoid over browning, and season with salt & pepper.
  6. Transfer roasted vegetables to pot and add can diced tomatoes, sauce, beans, corn, chili seasoning mix, and stir.Note: chili mix is spicy, so add half, taste and adjust desired spice level.
  7. Return skillet to a high-heat burner add vegetable stock and deglaze pan to scrape up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom, add liquid to pot.
  8. Simmer chili on low-medium heat for 15-minutes.
  9. Add chia and stir well. While chili is simmering, prepare Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins and Cilantro, Lime, Jalapeno Pesto.
  10. Serve and garnish with your favorite toppings.