Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colorful, Flavorful, Easy, Filling and Oh-So-Healthy Veggie Chili

So with all of this wedding planning, I’ve put myself on my self-proclaimed “wedding budget diet”.  Meaning I’m trying my best in as many ways as possible (and as painlessly as possible) to avoid the temptation of impulse buys, purchasing “wants” vs. “needs” and cooking at home more.
I’d say I’m doing ‘so-so’ on the first two, but with the cooking at home, I’d like to give myself an A+ so far – and I’d like to think I’m saving a good chunk of change since in the past I’ve found myself eating out at LEAST 4-5 times per week (I know, but I live in Astoria, it’s not my fault the food is so good!).
Enter the weekly dinners.  I’ve been making myself, as well as the Fiancé, dinners in bulk on Sunday nights to last throughout the week (some sort of meat & potatoes dish for him, some sort of much-healthier-version-of-that for me).  One particular favorite of mine is veggie chili.
Colorful, flavorful, easy, filling and oh-so-healthy (I could go on) – a pot lasts me a full week which saves a ton of moo-lah.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
  • 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
(FYI – I did NOT use the cumin, since I guess everyone in my neighborhood was making veggie chili too – there was none left at my grocery store.  I don’t think this made much of a difference, but a great addition nonetheless if you do have it on hand.)

1. Sautee onion, carrots & garlic first, in olive oil until tender.

2. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery and chili powder.  Cook until tender.

3. Stir in mushrooms and cook about 3-4 minutes.

4. Stir in tomatos, kidney beans, and corn - all with liquid.

5. Season with cumin (if you have it), basil and oregano (I like to be generous with these, yum!) and salt & pepper to taste.

6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cover and simmer for 20min, stir occasionally.

Tip: Like my mom always says, "you can put salt in, but you can't take it out!".  Season with care : )

You can add just about any other favorite vegetable (like our food of the month, cabbage?? Yum!) or bean to this and could make many different versions.  I keep going back to this one again and again - I love the hearty texture and bright flavors.


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