This recipe makes a hearty batch of delicious, hearty and nutritious chili. It makes for great packed lunches and provides for a lot of leftovers, which I love because the flavours continue to meld in the fridge and it tastes even better the next day. I like to serve this crockpot vegetarian chili topped with fresh avocado, which adds a nice, creamy taste and texture. Avocado is a nutritional powerhouse, and I add it to my recipes whenever I can….
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This recipe makes a hearty batch of delicious, hearty and nutritious chili. It makes for great packed lunches and provides for a lot of leftovers, which I love because the flavours continue to meld in the fridge and it tastes even better the next day!
I like to serve this crockpot vegetarian chili topped with fresh avocado, which adds a nice, creamy taste and texture. Avocado is a nutritional powerhouse, and I add it to my recipes whenever I can. Avocados contain many anti-inflammatory phytosterols, which can not only help with painful conditions such as arthritis but also modulate cholesterol levels and can improve cardiovascular health. Adding a fat to a meal, such as avocado, also helps the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are present in other foods. Examples of fat-soluble vitamins in this recipe are the vitamin-A that is present in the yams, and the vitamin-E in the tomatoes.
I try to minimize my intake of canned goods as much as possible, and typically use dried beans in most of my recipes. Most cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA) in the lining, which is a chemical that has been demonstrated to cause hormonal disruption and is associated with hormonally driven cancers (such as breast and prostate cancer). I used canned tomatoes in this recipe, but made sure to purchase tomatoes packed in a BPA-free can. Tomatoes packed in glass jars are another BPA-free alternative.
Soaking beans requires a bit of extra planning, but is well worth the effort. The method I use is simple, and also helps to break down some of the starches and facilitate digestion. Rinse the beans, place them in a large pot and cover with water by several inches. Soak overnight for at least 12 hours. Expect the beans to double or triple in size, and plan your pot size accordingly. Even though the beans will be cooked in the crockpot, I like to pre-cook the soaked beans prior to use so I don’t end up with crunchy beans and soggy veggies. Change the water in the bean pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are close to desired tenderness (they will cook a bit more in the crockpot).
This recipe makes a lot of food! If you are cooking for one or two people and do not want leftovers all week, then cut the recipe in half.
Note: Cook time 5-10 hours
- 8 cups of pre-soaked beans (equivalent to approximately 3-4 cups of dried beans prior to soaking). I used the following ratio of the following beans, which were measured prior to soaking.
- ¾ cup adzuki beans
- ½ cup pinto beans
- 1 ¼ cup black beans
- ¾ cup chickpeas
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 small zucchini, chopped (quarters)
- 12 small crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- Diced tomatoes with juice (2x796mL cans)
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Herbamare or sea salt (use less if you used canned beans)
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup coffee (optional) - deepens the flavour of the chili
- 1 avocado (optional)
- Chop all vegetables and prepare the beans as described above.
- Put all of the ingredients (except the avocado) into a 6-Quart crockpot and set to desired cooking settings. Depending on your crockpot settings, a low-heat setting will probably be done in 8-10 hours, and a high setting in 4-6 hours.
- The chili is ready to eat once the vegetables are tender and the chili has been simmering for several hours (depending on the crockpot setting). Season with salt, pepper and additional chili pepper or flakes to taste if required.
- Serve topped with chopped avocado (optional).
- Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Vegan
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