11 January 2011

vegetarian chili {a recipe}

Before you can know what you are, you have to know what you aren't.

This sounds very negative, this list-making of things you are not or are not good at or do not do. So much not.

But what you're doing—it's not focusing on the negative. It's looking for the positive. Focusing on your strengths so that you can become even stronger there.

This is not at all how I thought I would start this piece, but it's a good demonstration of what this blog is: a place for musings and thoughts and surprises and, I hope, laughter.

It is not, however, a recipe blog.

There are plenty of charming and helpful cooking blogs out there. These people take pretty pictures and give little kitchen tips and generally make you wish that you were invited over for dinner every night at their house.

And while I do cook a fair amount, I haven't made this a recipe blog. I leave that to Kirsten and Stacey, two girls from my hometown with the aforementioned mouth-watering blogs. Clearly, we raise good cooks in Burlington. {Go look at their blogs now, but only if you promise to come back here.}


After I wrote an ode to my Crock Pot, I had a few people ask for the recipe.

Never one to disappoint, I decided to share it.

No pretty pictures, though. I mean, it's a Crock Pot recipe, so it's not like I need to take pictures of every step. There are basically two steps: Put everything in the Crock Pot. Turn on the Crock Pot.

For more details, see below.

Vegetarian Chili
via Laurie Colwin, the little Crock Pot guide that came with my new Crock Pot, and Real Simple

What You Need
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced {you can use more or less—it's all up to you and your personal love of garlic. I, for example, adore garlic, so I used 8 cloves. I am convinced this is what made it smell so appealing, knock-down-the-door-I'm-hungry the other day.}
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans beans {black, red, white, doesn't matter. Heck, you could even use garbanzo beans, but no matter what kind of beans you use, you should drain and rinse them.}
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth {my little Crock Pot book says that the Crock should be 1/2 to 3/4 full, so you can adjust the broth amount as needed here.}
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper {or more if you like more kick and spunk in your chili}

What You Do
  1. Add everything to the Crock Pot.
  2. Turn it on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.
  3. Walk away and forget about it. Forget about dinner. Forget about stress. Forget about anything pressing you have going on in your life. Just let the Crock Pot take care of you.
  4. Just before you serve the chili, stir in 1.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. Do it. It deepens the flavor of the chili, and you'll feel decadent, like you're having dessert for dinner, even if it is just 1.5 ounces of chocolate.

    You'll also feel empowered by this secret—if you can resist telling the people you're serving that you put chocolate in the chili. You have a secret ingredient!

    Helpful tip: when people ask you what your secret is, do not say, "Secret's in the sauce." That makes a lot of people think of Fried Green Tomatoes when they barbecue up that man and everyone says it's delicious but the cook won't give away the recipe and just keeps saying, "Secret's in the sauce." I hope you've seen that movie; if not, I deeply apologize for the spoiler. Also, go watch it now.

    As if feeling decadent and empowered weren't enough for a normal weekday, putting in chocolate will also make you feel like Juliette Binoche in Chocolat. As you watch the chocolate melt in the chili, you'll think of that montage when Juliette is pounding the cacao beans and sprinkling in something that looks a lot like cayenne pepper.

    And let me tell you, feeling like a French woman, especially one with such sophisticated-looking, sleek hair as Juliette Binoche, is a tres bonne idee for redeeming a hard day or a boring day or a stretched-thin day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the vegetarian chili recipe. I am going to make this Friday night for the family



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