One of my favorite things to experience is coming home from a long day of whatever and opening the door to a wave of wonderful aromas rushing over me. I appreciate it more during the winter months, but it’s welcome anytime. I like using the crock pot because you throw everything into it in the morning, do nothing with it all day and voila! A dish anyone would think you slaved all day over. You can adjust the seasonings to your own preference as I don’t always use measuring spoons when I add spices. I like making Chili because you can have so many variations of it depending on your mood or your supplies. In my pre-vegan life I had the opportunity to attend a chili cook off in Poultney, Vermont. It was so much fun! For a small fee you were given a little cup and a plastic spoon and you went to the different stands set up on Main Street, tried their samples and judged their chili. I can’t remember if all the stands were representative of local businesses only or businesses and private citizens, but each stand had their own version of chili. When we first started I thought, ‘Gee, this cup doesn’t hold much. I’m still going to be hungry when we’re done’, but I was sorely mistaken. They had meatless chili, venison chili, smoked chili, tongue melting chili, and more. I like hot chili but after that tongue melting chili, I was useless. I’ve never forgotten that day and I try to be creative with my chili. I hope you enjoy this version and feel free to experiment with your own choice of ingredients.
Chili: Crock Pot Style
2 cans beans, dark kidney, light kidney, or your choice
1 onion, lge, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg mushrooms, chopped 1 28 oz can tomatoes, diced, or crushed 1 14.5 can tomatoes, diced or crushed 2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp black pepper
olive oil 1/4 tsp red pepper, powdered or crushed (optional)
1/2 pkg Boca Crumbles, (optional)
Wipe a thin layer of olive oil on bottom and part way up the sides of the crock pot. Layer ingredients starting with some tomatoes, then beans, then veggies, then spices, and repeat until everything is used up, leaving about 1 inch head space for bubbling. Add water until just below food level. Veggie broth can be used if you want. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-10 hours on low.
Enjoy with some nice warm corn bread.