Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from Emeril Lagasee, 2003 on the Food Network

February 2010, Valentine's Day - We had a few of the regular crowd over and I had a hankerin' for chili. A web search turned up Emeril's recipe and I made a few changes to it. You can eat this without the brown rice, but the nuttiness of the rice adds a key flavor component. Together it was spectacular.

The big hunks of Portobello mushroom substitute for meat. Our meat eating friends often think this has cubes of steak in it. If you don't add the yogurt at the end, then this is vegan as well.

You can prep all the ingredients ahead of time and then just cook it up at the end. These instructions assume to you want to do it all at the same time and be ready in just over an hour.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes
Serves 8

A. chipotle chili, dried 1  
Anaheim chili, dried 1  

Place both chilies in a cup of boiling water to soak for 10 minutes.
B. long grain brown rice 2 cups  

In a medium pot bring 5 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil.

Add the brown rice. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover.

When the rice is simmering, set a timer for 10 minutes. The rice takes 30 minutes to cook but you'll have to be ready for step H in 10 minutes. If you read ahead then you might have already started the prep work while that rice water was coming to a boil. Smart!
C. yellow onion 1 medium Chop into 0.25 inch pieces.
red bell pepper 1 medium Chop into 0.25 inch pieces.
garlic 4 large cloves Minced.

Place all in a bowl and set aside
D. zucchini 1 medium Cut into 1/8 inch cubes.
frozen corn 8 ounce bag Allow to thaw.
Portobello mushrooms 6 caps Remove stems and cut into 0.5 inch cubes.

Place these into a second bowl and set aside.
E. chili powder 2 tablespoons  
cumin, ground 1 tablespoon  
salt 1.25 teaspoon  
  cayenne pepper 0.25 teaspoon  
  oregano, dried 1 teaspoon  
  thyme, dried 1 teaspoon  

Place these spices into a cup and set aside.
F. tomatoes 15 ounce can Chopped. Look for a brand with calcium in the ingredient list.
black beans 2  15 ounce cans Drain and rinse.
tomato sauce 15 ounce can  
  vegetable stock 15 ounces  

Get these all ready to go.
Take the chilies from the water, discard the water. Cut open each chili and remove the stem and seeds. This recipe is spicy but not hot; leave in the seeds if you like more heat. Finely chop the chilies.

Add them to the bowl with the onion and bell pepper.
H. vegetable oil 2 tablespoons  

When the 10 minute timer goes off, set it for another 25 minutes.

Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium high heat (8/10). Add the first bowl (onion, pepper, etc.) and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.

Now add the second bowl (corn, mushrooms, etc.) and continue cooking for 6 minutes more. The vegetables should be giving off liquid and you should be able to smell the Portobello mushrooms.

Now add the cup of spices and stir for about a minute - smells good!

Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered. Simmer at least 10 minutes, or until the timer goes off to tell you that the rice is done.

When the rice is done remove it from the heat. Fluff it with a fork and let it stand for five minutes.
I. avocado 1 Diced into 0.25 inch pieces.
plain yogurt 1 cup Thick Greek style is best

Place a spoonful of rice in a bowl.

Add a spoonful of chili.

Add a dab of yogurt and a few pieces of avocado.