Vegetarian Chili

  As the holidays get more and more crazy it can get harder and harder to keep track of everything you have going on.  For me, that tends to mean that I completely forget to thaw any meat for dinner.  Luckily, I have a couple “oops, I screwed up” recipes I can throw together when that happens.

  Today we’re making vegetarian chili.  Feel free to not drown yours in cheese like I did.  It doesn’t really need it, but I’m still working on bringing my weight back up and this doesn’t have any fat without the cheese.
  Here’s what you need:
2 cans of beans (I used kidney beans and black beans)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used whole and diced)
Carrots, if you’d like them for more body
Many much spices:
I used
Mace
Cumin
Cinnamon
Chili Powder
and
Red Pepper
  Chili really is a make-it-up-as-you-go kind of dish.  Taste-testing as you cook is one of the keys to a really great tasting chili.  So dump your beans and tomatoes in a pot and start seasoning away.
  For this batch, I added carrots, but other things that work for making a vegetarian chili seem more “meaty” are parsnips, chopped onions, potatoes or just smashing some of the beans into paste to thicken it up.  I also try and keep my proportion of beans higher than that of my tomatoes.  About 1.5 to 1.
  I use cinnamon (and sometimes clove) in my chili because I’m a fan of slightly sweet chili.  If you’re an “all savory, all the time” kind of chili fan, I’d suggest omitting it.
  The second secret to fabulous chili is, of course, letting it simmer for as long as you can!  If you’re making it because you forgot to prepare something else for dinner (like me) that may not be very long, but let your left overs keep simmering while you eat.  You’ll have incredible chili for lunch the next day!
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