Veggie Chili

I’ve been waiting all fall for the cold weather to come to sunny Orlando. Well, today it’s finally a little cool. Just cool (low 60’s), but I’ll take it! I’ve been looking forward to making my super yummy, easy veggie chili. It’s one of the few favorite dishes I didn’t have to modify since going gluten-free. (The only gluten issue that can come up in this recipe is the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Make sure whatever you use is GF — I list my favorite gluten-free kinds in the recipe.)

This morning before taking our son to school I whipped up a big batch and stuck it in the crockpot. It’s wonderful knowing that while I’m at work all day today my yummy dinner has been nicely simmering away, patiently waiting for us all to arrive home and devour it. I love the Crockpot! :)

Noi’s Gluten-free Crockpot Veggie Chili
____INGREDIENTS____
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 small can tomato paste (Muir Garden is GF)
1 large can diced tomatoes (Muir Garden Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes are my fave and are GF)
3.5 cups water
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained
2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chiles (mild)
1 can corn, drained
1 zucchini, diced
1 squash, diced
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

____PREPARATION____
• Add the olive oil and onions to a large saute pan and place over medium heat.
• Saute onions for 2-3 minutes until almost translucent.
• Add the garlic and continue sauteing for additional 2 minutes.
• Add oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Stir until combined (will be thick).
• Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and water. Stir until combined,
• Add desired amount of salt & pepper, stir, then turn off heat and leave pan on stove.

• Turn Crockpot on Low (set for as many as 6 hours, as few as three)
• Pour drained cans of black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and corn into Crockpot.
• Add diced zucchini and squash.
• *Carefully* pour warm tomato spice mixture into Crockpot. Stir well.
• Put lid on Crockpot, step back and let it do it’s magic. In 3-6 hours (the longer the more flavor-infused it becomes) you’ll have yummy, healthy, gluten free chili.

NOTE: 20 minutes or so before serving, if chili is too watery, take a potato masher or large spoon and mash some of the chili against the bottom of the pot. (It’s a good way to get your day’s aggressions out!: )) The more you mash, the thicker it gets. (And, if your kids are like mine and cringe at the sight of veggies, it’ll disguise some of the chunks and make the chili more “normal”. :))

Scoop into bowls and enjoy!
You can always top this veggie chili with your standard chili toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, freshly chopped cilantro, raw onions, tortilla strips/chips….

Oh! And try serving it with some gluten-free corn bread! Yum!!!!!

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