Slow Cooker Recipe: Part II Meatless Chili

People have an opinion about chili.  Ask them.  They’ll tell you.  It has to be just meat and no beans, it has to be hot enough to scorch the small hairs if dropped in your lap, it has to have special home crafted chili powder, it has to be made with lots of veggies, it has to be served over spagetti noodles….on and on.  Whatever.  IMHO, my take on chili is: easy, full of flavor, cheap.  Easily adjustable to individual palates and diets, this chili is just plain ol’ good.  Start it at breakfast and scarf it up at supper time with your family or some good friends.  Wash the slow cooker….done!!!!

 

Olive oil – 1 – 2 tbs4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
Small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
Small zucchini, chopped (or not or small chopped sweet potato). 
1 28 ounce can tomatoes (if using whole, peeled, chop or mush up with your hands)
Several shakes hot pepper sauce or to taste (Crystal, Franks, Tobasco, etc.)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1/3 tsp cumin
1  1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
4 standard size cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used  dark kidney, pinto, great northern, and red beans drained and rinsed, basically, what I had in the pantry) 

How To:
On medium heat, sauté chopped veggies, garlic and onion about 3 minutes, until al dente.  Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for another minute. 

Place sautéed ingredients into slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Cover and cook on low setting for about six – eight hours.  About halfway through cooking, I checked for the need to add some additional liquid or adjusting seasonings.   

Serve over cooked brown rice, quinoa, or not. You can do it southwestern style and serve with tortilla chips or old school with saltines, crackers, or bread.

Non-vegan serving option:  top with low fat sour cream or plain yogurt, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, any or all.

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