simple vegan white bean chili


Chili is usually a dead-of-winter kind of meal. Something that stews and simmers over a low heat for an hour or more. Which is probably not something you want to do once the temperature starts to spike, though I have gone on a number of baking sprees in mid-July. The heart wants what it wants.

Something I'm adjusting to in Colorado's version of spring are the super warm days (hello, sun!) that cool down to sometimes half (or more) of what the high was. Did that make sense? So when it comes time to think about dinner, a bowlful of a super simple chili could be just the ticket. Pair it with some fresh, warm vegan cornbread and you'll find me at the table.

For this recipe, you'll need:

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning**
1 15-ounce can navy beans, rinsed (or whatever your favorite is)
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 avocado, optional

**This one is my favorite lately. It's not just for pizza anymore!

Start by heating a good bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook your onions until they start to wilt down, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add your garlic, and cook for one minute more. At this time, you might start to notice your onions and garlic sticking a bit, so you can use some of your stock to loosen them up. Add a few tablespoons to scrape the bottom of the pot.

Add your carrot and pepper and the rest of your vegetable stock. Allow this to simmer gently for a few minutes or until your added vegetables begin to soften (5-ish minutes a good timeframe).

At this time, add in your seasoning and more salt and pepper. Add your canned tomatoes, stir well. Stir in your beans, well rinsed, and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer for about thirty minutes, until heated through and slightly thickened. Serve with sliced avocado on top (a great alternative to cheese!) and cornbread on the side.***

How easy was that?

***Um, it kind of blows my mind that I don't have a vegan cornbread recipe up. I've made one about a million-trillion times but just realized I never shared it. Ball dropped! I'll get on that soon, but in the meantime, here's a good one.

Some other simple uses for (white) beans: