In an effort to reduce the amount of meat, fat, and dairy products in our daily diet, while at the same time increasing the number of beans we consume, I decided to work up a vegetarian chili recipe.

I prepared this chili last night for dinner and both of us thought it was wonderful. The saucy part was very flavorful. The corn actually provided a bit of a crunch and the olives had enough of a different texture as to create a lovely mouth feel. (Not to mention a wonderful taste). Then of course the crisp and pungent bite from the red onion added just before serving – marvelous. And nary a morsel of meat, sprinkling of cheese, or dollop of sour cream to be seen or needed. This chili and a nice piece of cornbread (made with canola oil, not butter) and you have a lunch or dinner that anyone watching their cholesterol would be happy to eat on a regular basis. And did I mention it was really easy to prepare?

So give this recipe a try. Just don’t forget to stock up on “beano” when you purchase the ingredients for this dish. And if you don’t know what “beano” is, suffice it to say you have lived a charmed life!

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28-oz.) chopped tomatoes (Italian preferably)
  • 1 can (6-oz.) tomato paste (again – Italian preferably)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15-oz) cannellini, kidney, or chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1-2 cans black olives, drained and halved (I use about a can and a half and munch on the rest later)
  • chopped red onion, opt.

Heat olive oil in a large covered soup pot. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and sauté until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, water, mustard, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cloves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir periodically. Add the beans, corn, and olives and simmer covered for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Serve garnished with chopped red onion.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks