Tasty Vegetarian Chili


September 01, 2004|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Norris Walker of Baltimore had a complaint and request. He wrote that he went out of town and when he came back, the place where he got his favorite vegetarian chili was closed and he no longer can get this dish. "I hope someone out there can help."

Regina Pakos of Latrobe, Pa., responded with tester Laura Reiley's choice. "It is a delicious dish specially if you want to leave meat off the menu. I make it and love it," she said.

Vegetarian Chili

Serves 4

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juice

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced celery

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper

1 (19-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed

2 cups cooked brown rice, wild rice or bulgur wheat

salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper and jalapeno.

Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in kidney beans and rice. Continue cooking 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tester Reiley's comments: "I would definitely use bulgur wheat for this dish. Its texture most closely approximates ground beef, with nice tooth-resistance and textural contrast with the veggies.

"The finished chili is a kicky, pleasantly balanced one-pot meal, especially if topped with a bit of shredded cheddar, sour cream or ... ripe avocado. I might also add a 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder and cumin to the veggies before they simmer 30 minutes, to give the chili a little more smoldering heat."

Per serving: 391 calories; 16 grams protein; 5 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 71 grams carbohydrate; 18 grams fiber; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 497 milligrams sodium

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