July 01, 2008

Chili con Veggies

My mum used to make this chili, which I lovvve, while I was still living at home (full time... now I'm home in the summers and on long holidays, but for all intents and purposes, I live in Kingston, where I go to school). Last week, when no one could decide what to eat for dinner on Monday night, I decided to make it. It's so simple and delicious. Usually we make it in the winter, because who wants to eat chili in the summer, right? But everything is field-fresh right now, so it's really the perfect time.
I started by making a pot of basmati rice. It's my favourite rice.

And if you're one of those people who's always had trouble making rice that's perfect and not nasty and sticky, follow these instructions: bring two cups of water to a boil; add one cup of dry rice (any kind except brown, which takes a ridiculously long time) and stir to prevent sticking; allow water to come to a boil again, and turn the heat on the stove down to the half-way point (or a bit lower, if your stove runs hot); cover the pot and set your timer for 15 minutes, AND DO NOT LIFT THe LID TO STIR OR CHECK ON THE RICE AT ANY TIME (it's fine, I promise!); after 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat and allow to sit for at least another 5 minutes. It can be left longer. Which is what I did in this particular instance, because by the time the rice was done, I was making chili. It probably sat for about half an hour or something.
Anyway, once the rice was on its way, I got out the big pot and poured in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.

No need to be exact, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. I also added some flavouring: chili powder, turmeric, tamari (or soy sauce) and garlic and let it simmer for a few minutes.

I chopped up some vegetables while I was waiting (I'm lying, I did this before I even started...).

For this recipe I usually use some sort of bell pepper (yellow, in this case, but any colour will do), celery and carrots. I also throw in a fresh tomato. It must be peeled first, though.

Once the vegetables are chopped and the spices have had some time to simmer in the oil, the pepper, celery and carrots go in, but not the tomato, yet.

This needs to cook for just a few minutes; between three and five.

I don't know about anyone else, but we always have a can of tomato paste in our cupboard.

It goes in with the vegetables, along with the tomato, a splash of lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. It looks really thick and pastey at this point, but it's nothing to be concerned about.

That cooks on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. While I'm waiting, I open a can or two of beans, any kind:

We had red kidney beans and black beans. Yum.

After cooking for a bit, the juices from the tomato really add some liquid to it.

At this point, it's time to add the beans.

And simmer for another 15 minutes.

Once it's done, serve it on the perfect rice you have sitting, waiting on the stove. Deliiiish.


Chili con Veggies

1-2 cans of beans (any kind)
Chili powder, to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bell pepper (any colour) chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can tomato paste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Briefly sautee the spices, tamari and garlic, stirring to avoid burning. Add the pepper, celery and carrot and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the beans, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve on rice.

Guten Appetit!

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