While pondering what to bring in for a work pot-luck lunch, I came up with this recipe. One of my co-workers is vegan and I wanted to make sure that he would be able to eat at least one of the dishes. It also needed to satisfy the non-vegan crowd. Two other criteria, it needed to be crock-pot friendly and easily transportable. Most importantly, it needed to be delicious!
Start off with one nice size onion and a head of garlic. Yes, the whole head! It is good for you! Chop the onion. Peel the garlic and leave whole, so that it can be put through the garlic press.
Next chop three carrots and three stalks of celery. Unfortunately, I think the celery got buried under the carrots here!
I like my food to be colorful, so next I chopped two red peppers, two orange peppers and two yellow peppers.
This is the only part of the recipe where we stray from the crock pot. I like to saute my veggies a little first. This can even be done the night before to make the rest of the preparation easy in the morning. All the veggies go into a skillet over medium-high heat with some extra virgin olive oil. Saute until they just begin to get tender, three to five minutes or so.
Now, for the crock pot. First the veggies and two cans of unsalted diced tomatoes go in.
Next add in one can each of rinsed and drained pinto beans, white beans, and garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas).
Rough chop three zucchini, and a half pound each of shiitake and cremini mushrooms. The chopping is another step that can be done the night before. The mushrooms give the chili a meaty texture so that the non-vegans won’t miss a thing.
Also add in four cups of vegetable broth. Homemade is of course best, but unsalted store-bought works well in a pinch. It may not look like enough at first, but the zucchini and mushrooms will release some water as well.
Season with ancho chili powder, chipotle morita flakes, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Since unsalted tomatoes and broth were used, now is the time to get some salt in here.
Sorry for the blurry picture! Simmer on low for five to six hours or on high for two to three hours. This recipe fills a six quart crock pot to the rim! More than enough food to bring to a pot luck party, or to make at home and freeze half the batch.
Serve all on its own or over rice. Great toppings include diced avocado, non-dairy sour cream, non-dairy cheddar, or whatever your heart desires. I leave out some of the ancho chili powder, chipotle morita flakes and cumin so people can add spice if they like. I know I like mine hot!