Friday, May 9, 2008

Vegetarian Chili with Polenta

This week, I literally overdrafted my checking account. I have never done that before! I've taken on a lot recently in teaching several art classes in the area & I have to provide the supplies then get reimbursed later. I also got Jon a birthday present! So, I was strapped for cash. Big time.
I fixed my account right away, but I had to use what was in my cupboard instead of buying new ingredients. It isn't about what I want to eat this week -- it is about what I have.

That means chili.

1 package soy meat
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can canellini beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can vegetarian chili beans, not rinsed
1 can vegetable stock
1 can water
2 spoonfuls of jalapeno slices (the jarred kind)
1 T chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. oregano or italian seasonings
Dash cinnamon
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

If I had it, I might have added:
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 rib celery, finely chopped

But, I didn't.

So, I put all of the above in a big pot and brought it to a boil. I let it simmer/boil for about 10 minutes. Then, I reduced the heat to low, put a lid on it and let it cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, I removed the lid and let simmer for another 30 minutes.

It only gets better as it sits.

I served it with fried polenta rounds and chopped cilantro.

But, if I had it to do over, I would not buy the pre-packaged polenta. I'd get the quick cooking polenta and have my chili with creamy polenta instead of fried polenta rounds.

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