When I was a kid, my family and I would frequent a local restaurant that served the best chili. It had beautiful cubes of steak in it and was mounded with cheddar cheese, green onions and served with fresh pita chips on the side. For years this was the ONLY thing I would order on their menu.
One day (long before I became a vegetarian) I noticed they had a vegetarian chili. Pretty soon, this was the ONLY thing I would order on their menu because I discovered that vegetarian chili can be as good, if not better, than its meat counterpart. Their vegetarian chili was served over a bed of wild and long grain rice and topped with pepper jack cheese. Years ago as a young newlywed, I set out to recreate what I remember that amazing chili tasting like.
I've been making it ever since.
Now when it comes to the wild rice, you can use your basic cook and serve boxed rice blend that comes with the seasoning packet. If you're looking for a healthy alternative to this (without the msg), you can make your own blend of rice using the directions below.
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili over Wild Rice
1 box wild and long grain rice, prepared (or see alternative below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 minced jalapeño (or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder, optional (this gives the chili a wonderful color)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) whole or crushed tomatoes, (If you use whole crush through your hands, along with the liquid.)
1 cup corn (1-2 ears with the kernels cut off or frozen corn defrosted)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can each dark red kidney beans, cannellini beans
and chic peas, rinsed and drained (or dry beans soaked and cooked)
Toppings: (any or all of the following) shredded jalapeño jack cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, etc.
1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, green pepper and red pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn transparent.
2. Add the garlic, jalapeño (or crushed red pepper flakes), cumin, chili powder, salt and cocoa powder. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for about 4 minutes.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, corn and drained beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour, partially covered, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve over wild rice* and add your toppings.
(As with all chili's it tastes even better the next day.)
*For the rice:
1/4 cup wild rice
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon dry parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry onion flakes
3 cups water
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 40-50 minutes- until the rice is tender. (Drain off any excess liquid.)
Linked to: Midnight Maniac, Mrs. Happy Homemaker , Everyday Mom's Meals, Everyday Sisters