Hearty Eight-Pepper Vegetarian Chili

chili, peppers, food, cooking, recipes, stews

Eight pepper chili

I’m not a vegetarian but I do eat a lot of vegetables. I tend to make my chilis vegetarian, so that I can just add meat if I want. I’ve had an issue for years with digesting legumes so I make my own chili and adapt it so it isn’t  so bean heavy. First, I take the beans and soak them, draining the water off twice. I then boil them and rinse them again to remove as much as I can of the offending sugars.

I never use an exact recipe but below are the ingredients, more or less, for the chili pictured here:

  • olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • one yellow onion (or white)
  • one can peeled plum tomatoes
  • one can tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups kidney beans
  • water
  • 1 c. green beans
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 1 Hungarian pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ground red chili pepper
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 dried habanero pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed pequeno peppers
  • 1 fresh red hot pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp. pepita/pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts

As can be seen, this is a bit of a kitchen sink recipe and all measurements are approximate. If I don’t count the black pepper there are eight other peppers in this particular dish. I usually don’t use fewer than five types. If you want a less spicy chili you can use bell peppers and sweet banana peppers. Fewer of the red and hot peppers, such as pequenos and habanero, will cool the heat of the meal.

chipotle pepper, peppers, chili

Dried & smoky flavored chipotles--creative commons Badagnani (on Wiki)


I always just make mine to taste. I put the ingredients in a slow cooker, chopping and slicing up the tomatoes, peppers, carrots and beans. I add the tomato paste and soak the chipotle or ancho chili in some water to soften. Then I chop the chili and put it and the water in the cooker, while I saute the garlic and onion in oil and add in the spices. I also cannot digest bell peppers but I’m fine with other types. All of these ingredients can be adjusted to personal preferences.

The beans are boiled separately (don’t add salt or they won’t soften properly). After they’re drained I add them, the nuts and the seeds, then let everything simmer in the cooker on low. In the morning I turn it off and toss in the sliced mushrooms and voila, it’s ready to eat.

This combo comes out medium spicy on my meter but more or fewer peppers will adjust the level. Of course, cheese and sour cream can take down the spiciness level. I found this batch was still just a touch too tart and tomatoey so I added about 2 tablespoons (by accident as I meant to put less in) of maple syrup, which took the edge off. You can use a bit of sugar to do the same thing. You cannot taste the maple syrup after all those spices.

I freeze this up in smaller containers and then if I want to add meat at a later date, it’s no problem. However, I find it so hearty that it’s rarely needed, and I’ve lessened the overall bean quota so that I can digest it. This recipe is vegan friendly as well.



Filed under Culture, food, health

2 responses to “Hearty Eight-Pepper Vegetarian Chili

  1. Love the pepper combination! The flavours must have been outstanding. I’ve never put nuts or seeds in my chili, but I will have to give this a try, sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing.

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