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Meatless Monday: Portobello Vegetarian Chili of the Gods

Teri Carcano’s Vegetarian Chili

Teri tweaked this to her liking from the original recipe by Emeril Lagasse [1]. The notes in blue are my tweaks. Feel free to make it your way!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (I used 2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers (I used 1 red bell)
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped (I used 3 carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 pounds Portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed (I used 1 pound Portobellos)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (I used 1 tablespoon chili powder + 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, which has flavor but not too much heat)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (I added this as an homage to mole)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 dark beer
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Accompaniment: Cooked brown rice (I like this chili with a side of cornbread)
  • Garnishes: Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, diced avocado, chopped green onions

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, carrots, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and paprika, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and beer, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Serves 8.