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Three Bean Vegetable Chili Recipe

This recipe for three bean, vegetable chili can be prepared with or without the beans. Vegetable chili is easy to prepare, it tastes delicious, and proves that the use of tofu or a meat substitute is not necessary when turning a traditional meat dish into a low-fat dish. The chili is so tasty that you really don’t even miss the meat.

Vegetarian chili is a hearty, spicy treat! Photo: Joven David, Sxc.hu

Vegetarian chili is a hearty, spicy treat! Photo: Joven David, Sxc.hu

On its own this dish is satisfying, comforting and filling, but it doesn’t weigh you down as a heavy meat dish would. This makes it the perfect meal for any season: warm and spicy for winter; light enough to enjoy with a cool frozen juice drink in summer.

Specific vegetables are included in the recipe but they can generally be substituted with any vegetable you have in your refrigerator. I always heard stories of my maternal Grandmother being able to prepare satisfying, filling, tasty meals on pennies per day, using whatever was in the fridge. Bob is just like her in this regard.

Three Bean Vegetable Chili Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 19 oz. can white kidney beans
  • 1 19 oz. can red kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • (People who don’t care for beans can substitute one chopped zucchini or yellow squash for each each of cans of beans)
  • 1 14 oz.can of corn
  • 1 35 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • cumin to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste (recommended: five splashes)
  • 1 Tb of chili powder
  • oregano to taste (approximately 1/2 Tb)
  • 2 Tb mustard

How to Make the Chili

  1. In a large pot (i.e. 6 quart) saute the peppers and onion in the olive oil until they become translucent.
  2. Rinse, strain and add the beans.
  3. (If substituting zucchini and squash, add them now and saute until they soften up a bit.)
  4. Then add the corn, crushed tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 15 minutes.

How to Serve Vegetable, Three Bean Chili

  • Serve with organic blue corn chips and low fat or fat free sour cream or a little grated cheddar cheese. A delicious way to eat this chili is to sprinkle a very small amount of cheddar cheese over the chili. Then take some chili and cheese onto a tortilla chip, using the chip like a scoop. Then dip it into the fat free sour cream, taking a small amount of the cream onto the chip. Then put the whole mixture into your mouth and eat it.
  • To keep it as healthy as possible, use baked or lower fat corn chips. The difference in taste and texture of the baked chips will not even be noticed once they are smothered with the healthy chili. Or you can leave the chips at the supermarket and still be completely satisfied with this meal.
  • The cheddar cheese and sour cream are totally optional. Consider putting just a small amount of grated cheddar on the table and put the rest in the fridge and the grater in the dishwasher and leave it there. Or put just one dollop of the fat free sour cream on top of the bowl of chili before serving.
  • You can also serve the chili inside of a warm flour tortilla with a salad on the side. For those whose craving to chew something meaty is harder to satisfy, try serving the chili immediately following an appetizer of a few shrimps in lemon and cocktail sauce. The shrimps may satisfy the chewing desire and the chili will satisfy the appetite.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 people. Enjoy.

©Lisa C. DeLuca, all rights reserved.  It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce this work on the web or for business use without permission from the author. This article was originally published on the web on May 19, 2008. Please contact the author with your reprint request.

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