Another dish that Sam requested. In fact, when she made the request, it was accompanied by a recommended recipe — white beans instead of the usual red kidney beans and, in lieu of the meat, use chopped vegetables. Of course I cooked the meatless chili for her. The result? So good that what she couldn’t finish at home, Sam took back to the condo with her.
I hope it keeps her warm and gives her comfort. She and her sister both have a bad cough and cold which, I hope, have not developed into a full-pledged flu as I write this. Weather’s changing. Summer’s near. Whatever viruses perish with the cold season are probably fighting tooth and nail, in a manner of speaking, to survive. And they’ve probably burrowed inside the first human body they could find so that they can live a bit longer.
Okay, I’m being fantastical. But viruses are live creatures, right? And like the rest of us, they must have this instinct for survival. But I’ll stop right there already about the viruses hanging on to dear life.
The chili. I’ll talk about the chili now. What chopped vegetables went into the chili? Bell pepper, oyster mushrooms, eggplants, carrots and onions. And, of course, I used homemade tomato sauce.
- 4 tablespoons palm oil
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot chopped
- 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms chopped
- 1/2 cup bell peppers chopped
- 1/2 cup eggplant chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp paprika
- crushed chili as much or as little as you like
- salt to taste
- sugar for balance
- 3 cups cooked beans
Heat the oil in a pot.
Add the chopped vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and crushed chili. Cook over medium heat, with occasional stirring, until softened. It’ll take about 10 minutes. Halfway through, add the garlic.
Pour in the tomato sauce.
Stir in the paprika.
Season with salt and pepper, and a bit of sugar to balance everything.
When the sauce starts to boil, add the DRAINED beans. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. If the mixture appears too thick, add some of the liquid in which the beans had cooked (or liquid from the can if that’s what you’re using), no more than a few tablespoonfuls at a time.
Taste a final time. Adjust seasonings, if needed.
Serve hot with bread or rice.
I halved the vegetarian chili, set aside one portion for Sam, but kept the remaining half in the pot. I added diced cooked pork to it, and simmered the stew a bit longer just until the pork was heated through. That way, the vegetarian girl had her vegan chili while the rest of us, the omnivores, had chili with pork.