Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian Chili’


It may be spring, but there’s still a nip in the air here in Ireland. And on these cold and rainy days, when you’re chilled to the bone, there are few dishes more welcoming than a big bowl of chili.

This vegetarian twist on the classic chili con carne recipe comes from Lisa Leake’s cookbook 100 Days of Real Food. I was given the cookbook a few years ago and only recently started testing recipes from it. I like the book’s premise “simple, family-friendly recipes to help you ditch processed foods and eat better every day”. I’m in complete agreement with Lisa on eating well and eating consciously.

Years ago, after a health scare, I drastically changed my family’s diet. Foods designed to sit on our shelves for months, foods laden with sugar, foods that had no resemblance to what our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents ate were replaced by real foods, products with ingredients lists I could pronounce, foods that nourished our bodies, souls and minds. Friends used to tease me when they’d see me in the aisles at Tesco reading labels, but I never minded…my family’s health and well being were worth it.

And here we are, more than ten years later, and there’s been a seismic shift towards mindful eating…I’m not the only one reading labels anymore!

Lisa’s Leake’s version of vegetarian chili is hearty and delicious. It is a breeze to make and, if you double the recipe, it freezes beautifully. I hope you give this recipe and try…in the meantime… bundle up…it may be spring…but it’s still chilly out there!


Vegetable Chili

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

114g/3/4-cup diced onion

1 bell pepper, any colour, cored, seeded and diced

132g/3/4-cup fresh or frozen corn kernels {no need to defrost frozen corn}

2 cloves garlic, minced

28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes

3. Stir in the corn and garlic and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, beans, bay leaves, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the better the chili will be.

4. Remove the bay leaves, ladle the chili into bowls, and serve with the desired toppings.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Toppings might include grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, diced avocado and/or homemade corn bread. And, if you want to eat chili the way I did growing up, serve it over a bowl of rice.

** My usual go to vegetarian chili recipe is from Elizabeth Buxton and Terence Stamp’s cookbook, The Stamp Collection Cookbook. You can find the recipe here.






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I have a confession to make…last week, while we were on a quickie holiday, I broke my Lenten promise to abstain from sugar! Because we were on vacation, I had ice cream…not once but twice. The children had ice cream too. Waaaahhh!

To make amends, I did not eat the Guinness Gingerbread I made for St. Patrick’s Day. Hmphhh! And, on Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day), which is coming up at the end of the month, I will refrain from whatever treats and sweets my family try to ply me with. One of my brother-in-laws is a Catholic priest…I guess I will consult with him as to whether I have to go to confession too! Uggghhh!

While I may have slipped in one area of our Lenten promise, I have not in the other: we have stuck with our meat-free Friday meals. Yeaahhh! Truth be told, it’s not all that difficult given the many wonderful recipes available today.

This evening I am serving my family a vegetarian chili that’s been in my recipe box for years. The recipe comes from Elizabeth Buxton and Terence Stamp’s cookbook, The Stamp Collection Cookbook. I started making this chili {donkey’s} years ago, when I was on a wheat-free and dairy-free diet and I always found it easy to whip up {about 20 minutes} and consistently good.


Unfortunately, my photography skills are not finely honed yet and the photo above may not entice you enough to try this recipe. For sure, you’ll have to trust me…this chili is good. Perhaps a few of you brave ones will give it a go. If so, let me know how you get on.

Happy cooking and happy Lent!

Vegetarian Chili

Serves 6-8


1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

175g/1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed under running cold water

175/1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed under running cold water

200g/1 cup cooked puy lentils

250g/1 cup canned tomatoes with their juice

1 tablespoon tomato purée/paste

55g/1 cup fresh chopped flat parsley (optional)

grated pecorino cheese


1. Soften the onions, jalapeño pepper and red pepper in 4 tablespoons of the oil for 4 minutes.

2. Add the chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin and thyme and cook over high heat for 1 minute.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, beans and lentils. Stir into the mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée/paste and remaining olive oil, cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.

5. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and more tomato purée/paste, if needed. {I also sometimes find I need to add a bit more water too.)

6. Add the parsley just before serving (optional) and sprinkle with pecorino, as desired.

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