Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tasty Vegetarian Chili on a Budget

Since our family of four began to eat gluten free a year ago we have definitely noticed a slight increase in our weekly grocery bill – especially during weeks when I try to create gluten free desserts from scratch using a variety of flours or pre-packaged mixes. I have justified spending a little more money in order to keep our family free of gluten related health disorders (such as my autoimmune thyroiditis which has now resolved).

Still, in the past two months with U.S. economy tanking and our family budget stretched thin, I’ve been working even harder to plan gluten free meals that are also economical – without sacrificing quality or taste!

This explains why I am extremely proud to present to you this original recipe for vegetarian chili… which I recently created using only items which were already in our pantry or refrigerator! In my opinion, the individual ingredients which make this recipe stand out are its quinoa and marjoram. My husband immediately pronounced this one of his top favorite meals I have ever served, high praise indeed coming from H. Better still, my economical recipe creates a large quantity of food that will definitely feed your family or friends for more than one meal!

Chili is a wonderful and flavorful meal to savor during Fall and Winter months as the weather outside grows cold. When served with a side salad and gluten free dinner rolls this homemade vegetarian chili makes a delicious meal that will fill your tummy and warm your heart.

Tasty Vegetarian Chili on a Budget

What You’ll Need:

Basic Chili...

28 oz diced tomatoes (plus liquid)
15 oz corn kernels
15 oz black beans (plus liquid)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (for non-vegetarians, beef broth works nicely)
8 oz tomato sauce
3 well chopped zucchini
2 – 3 stalks thinly sliced celery
1 diced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp marjoram
½ teaspoon chili powder (If you like it spicy, add 1 tsp)
Fresh ground pepper
Sea Salt
Olive Oil

Top With...

Jack cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, grated
Scallions (green onions), thinly sliced

How It Works:

Using a 3 quart pot, pour in one or two glugs of extra virgin olive oil and warm over medium heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Add diced onion and thinly sliced celery and sauté (stirring frequently) for approximately 6 minutes or until onion is translucent but not quite browned. Add minced garlic and sauté until garlic becomes fragrant (approx 30 seconds to 1 minute). Sprinkle in marjoram and chili powder, plus dashes of fresh ground black pepper and sea salt according to your personal taste. Continue stirring.

Pour chopped zucchini into mix and sauté it until it begins to change color and texture, becoming softer and more translucent. At this point add black beans, corn and diced tomatoes with all of their liquids. Stir and allow to bubble at medium temperature while you add quinoa, tomato sauce and chicken broth. When all ingredients have been combined, increase temperature to medium high and bring to a boil.

Once the veggie chili mixture is boiling, reduce temperature to low and cover pot with lid. Simmer at low temperature for 20 – 30 minutes, until quinoa is fully cooked and much of liquid has been absorbed.

Ladle chili into bowls. Dust them with grated Jack or parmesan cheese (or both). Top with thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for a beautiful presentation and extra kick.

Serves 6 comfortably as Main Course.

1 comment:

rachel marie said...

yummers!! this looks delish and it has been perfect chili weather lately, i will have to try this soon!

i have been meaning to do a blog back post to thank you for your lovely review of my goodies but have been a little busy and pre occupied with non cooking matters. sadly, i was just laid off by my day job. i am sad and a little nervous about the future but think it might be for the best. i wanted more time to focus on my cooking, blogging and the gluten free baking business and now i have it. i hope this is just the universes way of pointing me in the right direction! :-)


rachel marie