Winter 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 the 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 ahead and kept frozen. What you will need: Large skillet and 4-qt stockpot. Prep time 20 minutes. Cooking time 30-45 minutes. Yield 6-8 servings. Difficulty level: Moderately easy. Nutrient based per serving [chili only].
- 2-Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-cup diced red bell pepper
- 1-cup diced red onion
- 1 ½-lbs Roma tomatoes diced
- 1-eggplant cubed into medium size chunks
- 2-large summer squash or zucchini cubed into medium size chunks
- Salt & pepper
- 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
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Add onion, bell pepper and tomatoes.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Sauté on high heat for 5-minutes then transfer to 4-quart pot.
- Using the same skillet, pan roast squash and eggplant turning frequently to avoid over-browning, and season with salt & pepper.
- Transfer roasted vegetables to the 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 the desired spice level.
- Return skillet to a high-heat burner add vegetable stock and deglaze the pan to scrape up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom, add liquid to the pot.
- Simmer chili on low-medium heat for 15-minutes.
- Add chia and stir well. While chili is simmering, prepare Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins and Cilantro, Lime, Jalapeno Pesto.
- Serve and garnish with your favorite toppings.