Monday, May 21, 2012

Chili For a Crowd

  Although I'm not  a vegetarian, I like to eat several meatless dinners a week.  This adds  variety to our meals and seems like a healthy approach. Chili for a crowd is one favorite in our house.

  I make a batch and freeze some for a night when I'm not in the mood to cook or I lingered too long in the garden.  This recipe, adapted over the years by  a cook who can't bear to follow a recipe as it was written (me) came from the original Moosewood Cookbook  written back in the '70's by  Mollie Katzen when vegetarian cookbooks were hard to find.  She was a real pioneer credited with bringing vegetarian cooking out of the commune and into the mainstream.

                                       Chili for a Crowd

  *Cook 1/2 cup of quinoa in 1 cup of tomato juice and set aside. (The original recipe called for bulgar but I like the quinoa better)

  *Saute 1 &1/2 cups of chopped onions, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1 cup of chopped carrots and 1 red and 1 green pepper and 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers in olive oil.

  * Add 1-2 tsp of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp of coriander,  1-2 tsp of basil, chili powder to taste, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes.

  *  Add  3 cans of beans, drained.  I usually use 2 cans of black beans and 1 can of red kidney beans.

  * Add quinoa,  1 can of crushed tomatoes, juice of 1/2 lemon, some red wine and  a dash or two of cayenne pepper and cook gently in a dutch oven on the stove or bake covered in the oven. (If you can find it, add some epazote- a Mexican herb that eliminates the  negative side effect of eating beans!(Think Blazing Saddles.)

  *Before serving, stir in chopped  sharp cheddar cheese and heat until melted.

  * Serve in soup bowls  topped with fresh cilantro and sour cream or yogurt.

Thought for Today -  There are a hundred ways to make chili.  Try meatless for a change.  

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