It’s chili season! 

This recipe is chilly weather comfort food and takes less than 30 minutes to throw together.  It can be done in a crock pot or on the stove.  It’s not a measuring cup sort of recipe.  Just trust your instincts, taste along the way, and play with it.
Enjoy! Martina Bantham



3 cans of beans (rinsed and drained)  I like to use black, pinto (or white), and red because it’s prettier with 3 different colors. 
corn (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups).   I use frozen, but canned will work too.
onion, diced (medium sized)
garlic, chopped (2 or more cloves)
bell pepper, diced (any color)
can of chopped green chilis (I use mild)
can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you’ll need 1 or a few of the peppers, not the whole can) 
Large (20 oz?) can of diced tomatoes or if you prefer pureed
small (8oz?) can of tomato paste
good chili powder (start with 1 tablespoon)
cocoa powder (unsweetened) (1 tablespoon)
cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)
oregano (if you have Mexican oregano, even better)  (2 teaspoons)
1. Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven or similar pot.  Once hot, add the onion and bell pepper, sprinkle with some salt, and cook for several minutes until the onion begins to brown a little bit.
2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cocoa powder, oregano, and cinnamon.  Stir and saute for just a minute or two.  Savor how yummy your kitchen smells!
3. Add the tomatoes, beans, and green chilis.
4. Chop up however many of the chipotles you want to use, and add those along with a tablespoon or more of the adobo sauce. These are spicy, so adjust according to taste. I typically use about 2 peppers
5.  Add the can of tomato paste and up to about a cup of water to get the consistency you want.
6. Taste and adjust the spices.  You’ll definitely need some salt, and maybe more chili powder or chipotle and adobo.
7. Let it simmer for at least 20 – 30 minutes, add the corn and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Optional additions:

1. chopped mushrooms (add with the onion and pepper).
2. diced butternut squash (dice small and add with beans, may need to add more water and cook a little longer).
3. chopped walnuts (chop in a food processor to a ground meat type consistency).
Is chili really complete without cornbread or muffins?  Here’s a super quick and easy vegan cornbread muffin recipe which makes enough for a 12 cup muffin pan.
Cornbread Muffins (recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, from her Isa Does It cookbook)
1 cup plant milk (almond, soy, etc)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour or replace with gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil (I like the flavor olive oil adds but the recipe calls for melted coconut oil)
2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.
Mix together all the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and apple sauce.  Stir together, until just combined.  Don’t over mix, it’s okay if it’s lumpy, in fact that’s what you want.  This ensures a good texture instead of rubbery muffins.
Fill each muffin cup most of the way full and bake for about 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the pan when cool enough to handle and let cool on a cooling rack.