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Monday, October 3, 2011

End of Summer Chili Pot

I had one of those days last week, where I just didn't know what to make for dinner. I needed something to put on the table, but for the life of me, I couldn't think of anything that sounded appealing. It was Monday, so I was looking for something meatless. Unfortunately, Meatless Monday has sort of become "Pasta Monday" around here, due largely to my lack of planning and creativity. However, I am trying to watch my carbs, so I wanted to do something different.  But what?

I was on the verge of cooking a baked potato for each member of the family and handing it to them plain, but I am not so sure that would do much for my carb concerns!

Luckily, I ran into my friend Kirsten who also happens to get the Abundant Harvest Organics produce box every week, and she suggested that I look up their recipe for End Of Summer Chili Pot. She assured me it would be yummy, and that it would use many of the items in my current box.

I am not usually a huge chili fan, but my husband is. I figured it would be good enough for me, great for him, healthy, chock full of veggies, and far better than a plain potato. As a matter of fact, we went ahead and ate the chili on baked potatoes, but it is certainly good -- and hearty -- enough to stand on its own.

The recipe calls for ground beef or turkey, but I left that out since it was meatless Monday. I added in some beans instead, since I can't quite reconcile the name "chili" with anything that doesn't contain beans. I happened to have some pinto beans in the freezer, but red beans, kidney beans, white beans or black beans would probably do nicely. Use whatever you like... or whatever you have on hand.

I wasn't thrilled about cooking this dish... it just seemed like a good enough dinner idea when I started. I have to say, though, that I ended up loving it!! As a matter of fact, I think I know what we might have for dinner again tonight!

Here is the chili the way I made it:
(Here is the way Abundant Harvest makes it)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bell pepper (red or green), chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
kernels cut from 3 ears of corn
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. paprika
12 ounces vegetable stock
3 cups diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. shopped fresh thyme
2 cups beans

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper and jalapenos. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables start to soften (about 6-7 minutes). Add the corn, chili powder, and paprika, and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and thyme, and cook until slightly decreased, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the beans, cook for another couple of minutes, until the beans are heated through.

Serve over a potato or in a bowl. Top with shredded cheese or sour cream if desired.