oul Food: What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)
With yet another snowpocalypse descending upon the northeastern US, I immediately thought about crockpots and chili when I read today’s prompt. While not the most memorable meal of the year – there were so many good ones, how can I choose? – it is the meal I think most people associate with me. So here’s my ode to that underappreciated appliance the crockpot as well as the recipe for the best vegan chili ever – even carnivores love it!
I started making this chili back when my daughter Sarah decided she wanted to be a vegetarian. She was about 9 or 10 at the time, and as any mom would, I immediately worried about (a) whether this was healthy and (b) what the heck I would feed her?!? I wasn’t all that surprised at her decision since I couldn’t stand even to look at meat when I was pregnant with her. I think I ate more Greek salads in 9 months than most Greeks!
Who knew that a few years later I would go vegan! I’ve kept a vegan diet since May 20, 2009 and do so primarily due to factory farming and the impact meat production and consumption has on our environment. At this point, it just turns my stomach to think about eating meat or dairy. There are so many other delicious alternatives! I do admit that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Vegan baking is much more restrictive than cooking, but it’s possible!
I was also a single working mom (still am) and therefore my favorite appliance is definitely my crockpot. I found the original recipe for this chili on the McCormick website, but the link I have is long dead, and a search of their site couldn’t find it. I’ve altered it very little, mainly using canned diced tomatoes rather than whole ones and adding more beans and water. If you’re in a hurry, it’s good at about 3 1/2 hours, but 5 is perfect in my crockpot, and I’ve even returned home late after it’s cooked for 6+ and, after adding a bit of water, tasted just as good as ever! It’s also great for potluck dinners because it can sit in the crockpot on warm for a quite awhile.
Vegan Crockpot Chili
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 small can of whole corn, drained
1 large can of black beans (18-20oz), rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1 package McCormick’s Chili Seasoning
Saute onion and green pepper in the oil until softened. Place in crockpot along with all of the other ingredients. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Cook covered in the crockpot on low for approximately 5 hours.