by Sarah Anne
This post was originally supposed to be about an amazing banana bread recipe I found, because I know you need another one. However! In searching for a good vegetarian chili recipe high in protein, low in fat, I came across a recipe from The Kitchn, and had to share. I promise I'll share the healthier banana bread another time, because I've already made it twice. Read: I can't stop eating it. Anyway!
I'm absolutely one of those people that cannot leave well enough alone. I always tweak recipes, add something here, substitute something there, and as a result I never make the same recipe twice. Often times, I just "wing it" and make my version of whatever dish I'm feeling like in that moment. Soups, chili, casseroles, and salads are all pretty forgiving. I've been getting better about it lately, but when I decided to have chili last night for dinner, I realized that I didn't have a "go-to" recipe. After looking at several that looked delicious, (how does any chili recipe NOT look delicious?) I knew I had a winner.
This recipe uses no faux meat, no yams, no funky ingredients but relies on beans for protein content. On top of that, the secret ingredient - espresso powder, gives it a dark, rich flavour that you might think you'd miss without the beef. The method is easy to follow, and really is a bit of a chop and dump kind of thing. It does take a bit of time to prepare, only because the flavours need to simmer and marry, but it will be worth it I promise.
Of course, I made a few tweaks. I definitely used less than 1/4 cup of olive oil, more like 1/8th, or two tablespoons. I added 6-8 chopped mushrooms and two roughly chopped carrots in after the onions had sauteed for a couple minutes on their own. I also increased the chili powder, cumin, and garlic, as often I feel like recipes tend to be under-spiced for my own palate. I like things bold! Abrasive! I used three 19oz cans of beans, one chickpea, one kidney beans, and one mixed. I didn't have chipotle chili powder on hand, so I just used chipotle puree, and added a few tablespoons in with the tomato step, along with a bit of smoked paprika and cayenne. I told you, we like things muy caliente around these parts.
Side note: If you don't have/use chipotle puree, you should. Take a can of chipotles in adobo and give it a whizz, or as Jamie Oliver says - whazz, in a food processor or high-powered blender. Store in the fridge and add to everything and anything. It lasts forever and is SO versatile! Think aioli, salad dressing, marinades, soups, etc!
If you care about nutritional and caloric stats, I did plug the recipe into a calculator. For seven servings, they are a bit over 300 calories each (337), with 14 grams of protein and a whopping 13 grams of fiber. A bonus for the vegetarians out there, you're getting some vitamin D from the added mushrooms as they are the only plant source of vitamin D. Nifty eh?
The other thing about this recipe with my additions? There's no way on God's green earth it serves only four people I estimate more like 6-8 servings. It's so fiber rich and filling, you won't need a massive bowl to be satisfied. I did top my bowl with a bit of sour cream and diced avocado and made these muffins to have on the side. All in all an easy, rich, satisfying and healthy meal that was cheap to boot!
This will from now on, be my 'go-to' recipe for chili. I think it's versatile, thick, rich and saucy and just what I was looking for. I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!
Do you have a favourite chili recipe, or a recipe that you seem to go back to over and over for something? What do you like in your chili and what do you look for when searching for a recipe?