Not really a recipe

I have been trying to get into the habit of taking a real lunch to work with me, and making up a batch of brown rice for the week that I can top with stuff seemed like a good idea – it would be filling and easy to throw together in the morning. Unfortunately, while I know brown rice is much better for me than white, I have not yet come around to liking the taste as much. So I decided I needed to make something aggressive enough to put on brown rice, while still being compatible with its flavor. I settled on making a spicy batch of vegetarian chili. Chili is fun, because I just go to the store and wander the aisles looking for stuff I want to throw in. Today, I ended up with:

  • a large red onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, sauteed together in olive oil until well cooked,
  • two huge carrots shredded finely, two green peppers, two “long hot peppers” (that is what the Giant Eagle called them – no idea what they actually were), and a cup of rehydrated TVP, all cooked in with the onion and garlic for about five minutes until softened,
  • two cans of kidney beans, a can of black beans, and two large cans of crushed tomatoes, brought up to a simmer,
  • a handful of oregano, basil, and chili powder, two handfuls of cumin, and about four chipotle peppers, after which the whole thing simmered through two periods of hockey.

The end result had a really nice texture (I chopped all my veggies very fine, and while I find TVP fairly flavorless I really like how it binds something like chili together) and a great flavor. It was also incredibly spicy; I have always associated chipotles with a smokey flavor, which the chili definitely has, and didn’t think about the added heat. I don’t mind, but this is definitely a chili to serve over something, not just to eat a bowl of plain. It also is an insanely huge batch of chili – I can never make a dish like this and not end up with enough for a week of meals and plenty to freeze. Fortunately, chili freezes wonderfully, and I am going to make up containers that I can thaw out and use to make up two or three lunches out of. Next time I would probably leave out the unknown hot peppers and remember to throw in shredded celery as well.

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