Vegetarian Chilly Chili

I love chilli... Period. It is the type of food that, as a chef/cook, you can really dive into and experiment with many different ingredients. I enter my restaurant into at least one or two chili competitions a year for this reason. For 8 years straight I have won 'best vegetarian chili', as well as numerous 'most creative' and 'most original' chili prizes. One of my favorite chilli's that ever came out of these contests was what I called "Porky Peanut Butter and Popcorn," which was a peanut butter based, pork chili in which you would put popcorn on top of to add a bit of salt and something quite unique. Sounds weird, but it was a huge hit.

My vegetarian chilli's have varied over the years, and my most recent recipe is less than what one might expect from a typical "chilli." The reason for this... well, it's served cold. I can't tell you how many non-believers showed up at my booth the first year I entered my 'Chilly Chilli,' but I can tell you how many of them left my booth as believers... Ok I can't really, but it was a lot.

Prepare and serve this delicious chilli on a hot summer day for meat eaters and vegetarians alike and make everyone happy, chilly, and satisfied. NEVER be afraid to experiment or add/take away things you like/don't like and make it your own. Your friends and family will be sure to ask for your new recipe to serve at their own parties

Chilly Chilli (Vegetarian Chilli)

- 8 oz artichoke hearts (in juice)
- 16 oz chickpeas (in juice)
- 16 oz kidney beans (in juice)
- 16 oz black beans (in juice)
- 3 oz tortilla chips
- 2 oz "Picante" sauce
- 4 oz crushed tomatoes
- 4 oz tomatoes, Purée
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped onions
- ¼ cup finely chopped red peppers
- ¼ cup finely chopped green peppers
- ¼ cup finely chopped scallions
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ cup red-hot sauce

- Puree chickpeas, kidney beans and black beans (reserve a few of each of the beans and the bean liquid for a garnish ).
- Puree tortilla chips extra fine.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients and add beans and liquid.
- Serve chilled with garnish of kernel corn, chopped tortilla chips and chopped chives, scallion or cilantro.

Note: After a day of enjoying this chili cold, you may put in a pot and cook for 20-25 minutes on a good simmer and serve hot on a chilly night.

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