Veggie chili will hit the spot
Slow cookers have legions of fans. I am not among them.
It’s partly philosophical, partly practical. Let’s start with the latter. Truth is, I’m just not good at producing food that tastes all that great in a slow cooker. Whatever I make ends up either tasteless mush or wildly overcooked or — on days when I’m really shining — both mushy and wildly overcooked.
The philosophical side is even worse. I resent it when slowcooker recipes require me to pre-cook ingredients before adding them to the slow cooker. And so many recipes seem to require this. If I need to brown the meat and toast the spices and simmer the sauce all in different pans before I’m even allowed to touch the device that’s supposed to be making my work easier, I might as well just finish (more quickly) the dish on the stove.
But I accept that I am in the minority. I understand that many people who are not me somehow find these devices useful. I applaud those people.
And in their honour, I created a slow cooker recipe that is everything I think so many are not — easy and tasty. It takes just 10 minutes to assemble in the morning and can be ignored until you get home from work. 1 large yellow onion, diced 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about a 2½ pound-squash) 28-ounce (794 g) can crushe d tomatoes 3 cups (750 mL) vegetable broth ½ cup (125 mL) red wine 15-ounce (426 g) can kidney beans, drained 15-ounce (426 g) can great northern or other white beans, drained 8-ounce (226 g) bag frozen bell pepper strips 6-ounce (170 mL) can tomato paste 6 cloves garlic, minced Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar 1 tbsp (15 mL) cocoa powder 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except the salt and pepper, hot sauce, sour cream, cilantro and tortilla chips. Stir well, then cover and turn on the cooker. Let cook for on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. The chili can be served any time after the squash and sweet potato are tender.
When ready to serve, season with salt and pepper and hot sauce. Serve topped with sour cream, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.
Does everyone in the family prefer a different heat level in their chili?
With this recipe, the solution is easy. Just leave out the hot sauce and let each person add it at the table.
This vegetarian chili takes just 10 minutes to assemble.