Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegan Bean Chili, Three (plus) Ways

I love meals that I can cook in a hurry. I also love meals that can freeze well so that I can have something to pull out for days that I REALLY don't have time to cook, AND I love meals that I can turn into something else for leftovers. My favorite Bean Chili fits the bill on ALL counts. Plus, it's healthy, hearty, filling and satisfying.

The other thing about this recipe is that it's versatile and VERY forgiving. You can double it or half it or change it up to suit your tastes. I usually start with dry beans that I cook myself, but if you can just as easily use drained and rinsed canned beans to make this recipe faster and easier.

Way #1: The Basic Chili

This recipe makes a lot, because I like to make this is big batches and freeze it for later meals.


Drizzle of Olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 hot pepper of choice, finely chopped (optional, if you like a little heat)
2- 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
3-4 Tbsp Chili seasoning, or more, to taste (either store-bought or homemade)
2 cups cooked kidney beans
2 cup cooked black beans
2 cup cooked pinto beans
(you can really use any combo of beans... just have around 6 cups altogether. if using canned beans, it will be roughly 4 cans or so)
3/4 cup frozen corn
big handful of chopped cilantro (optional)
Diced avocado, to serve (optional)

In a big pot, heat the oil and cook the onion until translucent. Add the pepper, and cook a few more minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and add the seasoning, beans and corn. Cook on medium until it's really bubbly, then simmer on low for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Toss in the cilantro at the end. Serve in bowls, topped with diced avocado.

We have this for dinner probably twice a month, served along with a big salad and some cornbread or baked tortilla chips. Also great over brown rice.

Way #2: Chili Mac

This is comfort food, all the way! The best part about this meal is you can assemble it in the morning, or even the day before and stick it in the fridge. At dinner time, just pop it in the oven and bake at 350 until it's heated through and bubbly. While it's heating up, tossed together a salad.


3 cups of leftover Bean Chili
12 oz box of elbow macaroni or other small pasta, cooked (use gluten-free pasta if you prefer to avoid wheat)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I often just use leftover pasta sauce)
1/2 cup Daiya Pepper Jack Shreds (or other vegan cheese shreds)

Combine the first 3 ingredients and pour into a casserole dish. Top with the "cheese" shreds. Bake at 350 until heated through and bubbly.

Way #3: Chili Burritos


Large tortillas or wraps
Leftover chili
diced avocado
shredded lettuce
Daiya Pepperjack shreds
vegan sour cream (optional)

This one is self-explanatory, no? Just assemble ingredients, Burrito-style. Mmm-mm good! Make sure the chili's good and hot so the cheese will get melty.

Bonus Way! Chili Potatoes!

This is our favorite day-after-chili lunch. Just top a baked potato with leftover chili. So good! Serve with some avocado and tomato slices.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds soooooo good! I know what I'm doing later this week.