While I hate to see the end of summer draw nearer, I must say that I do enjoy the change from season to season--at least when it comes to food. In the summer time, it's all about light and fresh flavours: grilled meats, bright salads, fresh herbs, and simple, refreshing flavours like citrus (which I looove). For the fall, though, things start to deepen and get a little heartier. As do our schedules. So, what better way to tackle the flavours and busy timetables of the fall than with stocking the freezer full of deliciously satisfying prepared soups and stews?
For those busy nights when you're too exhausted to cook a balanced meal, head to the freezer for this: my very simple vegetarian chilli. It's super easy to make, uses just a few basic ingredients, and the best part? If you don't like something about it, you can alter it how you like!
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 can of whole tomatoes + liquid (no salt added), diced
2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
2 generous pinches of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
sharp cheddar or parmesan, shredded
non-fat plain yogurt
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium. Add onion, pepper, and carrots to the pot and saute until onions are soft and tender.
2. Add diced tomatoes with liquid, beans, and corn. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Add jalapeno pepper, if desired.
3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about an hour or until all vegetables are tender.
4. Add more spices to taste. Ladle into bowls, garnish with any or all of: a small spoonful of plain yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese, chopped cilantro, or a couple of slices of avocado. Enjoy!
Try This: It is best to cool chilli completely before transferring to glass or tupperware containers for freezing. Don't forget to label before freezing!
While the beans provide protein, if you're looking for something more filling and that packs a greater punch, when sauteing the veggies add lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey and brown until cooked through.
image via joy the baker