In case you haven’t heard – it’s been pretty “chilly” here on the island the last week or so. Unseasonably (and I argue unreasonably) so. It makes me yearn for homier, more comforting foods than what I ordinarily like to eat. Mashed potatoes. Shepherds pie. Turkey Dinner. Meatloaf. Dare I say it….Liver.
Yes, liver. My Dad would make it once every couple weeks when Mom wasn’t home – served up nice and healthily with some gravy and onions, and a big ‘ole heaping spoonful of Kraft Dinner, and peas, usually, on the side..
John likes curry. Really super duper spicy burn your face off curry (he is English, after all)… Ah, comfort food. Who doesn’t crave it from time to time?
You may not crave liver and onions or searing curries, but there has to be something that just oozes of home cooked food that comforts you in ways that gourmet culinary creations can’t. One isn’t better than the other, it simply just is. And so, in the cold dead of winter on Vancouver Island (at a whopping -4 degrees Celsius), I decided to make some good old fashioned down home vegetarian chili with rice and corn bread.
Yield 10 servings
- 1/2 a Medium Onion, chopped.
- 1 Stalk Celery, thinly sliced.
- 1 Red or Yellow Pepper, chopped.
- 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped.
- 1 - 2 Red Chili Peppers, finely chopped.
- 1 Package Vegetarian Ground Round.
- 42 Oz. Canned Diced or Crushed Tomatoes.
- 1 Large Bay Leaf.
- 1 Tsp. Cumin.
- 1.5 Tbsp. Dried Oregano.
- 1 Tbsp. Salt.
- 1/4 C Chili Powder.
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- 7 Oz. Can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed.
- 7 Oz. Can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed.
- 7 Oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed.
- 7 Oz. Can Whole Kernel Peaches & Cream Corn, drained.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- First, bash the cumin, oregano and salt together in a mortar & pestle to loosen and open flavors of dried herbs.
- Next, heat approx. 3 Tbsp oil in a large sauce pan. Add onions, bay leaf, cumin, oregano & salt. Cook till translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the celery, peppers, and garlic.
- Stir well and heat through.When they are thoroughly warm, add the vegetarian ground round, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and add the tomatoes. Season with pepper and chili powder. Stir well.
- Add all the beans.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. In the last 5 minutes, add the corn and stir well. Serve with brown rice or mashed potatoes and corn bread (see recipe below).
Honey'd Corn Bread
- 1 C All-Purpose Flour.
- 1 C Yellow Cornmeal.
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder.
- 1/2 Tsp Salt.
- 2 Eggs, beaten.
- 1 C Half and Half Cream.
- 1/4 C Butter, melted.
- 1/4 C Local Honey.
- 1/4 C White Sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F; Grease a non-stick muffin pan.
- Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder & salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest.
- Now, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well, but don't over mix! Ensure all the flour is moistened - but it will still be lumpy. That's okay!!
- Separate into muffin spaces (3/4ths of the way full) and bake immediately for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
It really is the perfect home-cooked meal for the perfect "chili" winter day...... Wow. That was lame.