Chili con Carne is an aromatic, warming and filling dish. And it doesn't even require as much chewing, which is great because life is full of unnecessary effort.
However, the “con carne” section is an ethical or dietary dilemma for many people. Look no further – vegetables are your friend and confidant. They just want to live in your belly, deliver food and then poop.
And who are you to deny them this privilege?
Those who prefer to have the heat without meat can still eat. With this simple, hearty vegetable, you can eat a basic Mexican food without losing a hint of delicacy.
This recipe is healthy and hearty, and whether you're a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or meat lover, it's sure to win. The chilli is full of beans and vegetables and spices come from the wazoo.
This vegetarian chili is a sure-fire hit on the day of play to freeze and pound all week long, or simply because you just feel like making a vegetarian chili no reason.
Cooking time: 20 minutes of preparation, 40 minutes of cooking
Servings: 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt, divided
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder  2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed  1 (15 ounces) can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large (28 ounce) can or 2 small (15 ounce) cans of tomato cubes with their juice
- 2 cups of vegetable stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander plus extra for garnish  1-2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or lime juice  Instructions
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook these bad guys for 7-10 minutes until they're soft.
- Spice season! Throw in garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano (additional points if you do this from the other side of the kitchen and shout "KOBE!"). Let everything sizzle for 1 minute until it smells like a good-natured chili.
- Mix in every bean available to you and the diced tomatoes and their juice. It is also time for the broth and bay leaf. Stir everything together and cook the whole business for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on the heat to keep boiling steady.
- Take the masterpiece from the heat and remove the bay leaf. To make the texture Oscar-worthy, put 1 1/2 cups of chilli in a blender, twist until smoother than Ryan Gosling, who is disguised as a prince, and give them back to their friends in the main pot. (If you don't have a blender, mash the chili with a potato masher.)
- Once the texture is right, stir in the coriander and add salt and sherry vinegar as you like.
If so, you can increase the amount of cayenne pepper or mix in freshly diced jalapeños in a daring mood. When you do this, you may also want to send #ThoughtsAndPrayers to your digestive system for the next morning.
Don't add more heat than you can handle. You don't look as cool as you think when your nose runs so much. (However, we did speak to an expert to find out if spicy food can burn calories – learn more here.)
Be careful not to keep anything spicy away from your eyes. You don't want people to think you've seen The Notebook as many times as you have.
And if you want more Mexican delicacy, check out these recipes that go beyond the humble hand-held fame of the burrito.
Toppings: The last "je ne sais quoi" (but in Spanish)
Top your chili with any combination of sour cream, Greek yogurt, spring onions, fresh coriander and grated cheese. Alternatively, you can add anything you like damn well.
If you want to be vegan or dairy-free, you can add avocado or tortilla chips instead. You can also fill it with cooked quinoa or brown rice.
One of the unbridled delights of chili is the ability to save it and return to your new love as often as you like.
Those who know their batch will not last the week because it is extremely tasty and can be stored in the fridge for 4 days. Those looking for a batch that will last for months can really chill the chilli by freezing this teat.
Chili is a nutritious, filling meal that you can feed for days if you do enough of it. It's also very adaptable – you can adjust the spice values to make each dish a different experience.
This recipe can also feed vegans, vegetables, and meat eaters who want to change their daily food. Check out a winter option here.