Veggie-ish Chili

Author: Justin
Serves 4ish
1.5 - 2 lbs assorted vegetables (options include carrots, broccoli, sweet peppers, asparagus, white and portobello mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant), cut to bite size 1 or 2 onions, chopped
A few Tbl minced or crushed garlic 1 can black beans
1/2 lb chili-compatible Protein Unit (veggie crumble, ground beef, etc)~40 oz good marinara sauce
Oregano and basil, some good shakes of each Chili powder and chipotle powder (see below)
Meltable cheeseChips

Place recipe here; use paragraphs as appropriate.

Notes and Variations

In a nonstick pot, saute the Protein Unit until nice and brown, and set aside.

Saute the onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until they are getting done-ish, and start adding the veggies, in order from most to least durable. (Mushrooms, then carrots, then broccoli stems, then asparagus. Don't saute the sweet peppers at all: they'll just wilt.)

Toss the Protein Unit back in, and the beans, and add enough sauce to get everything well-covered with it, but not quite enough to completely cover the matter. The goal here isn't a sauce, it's veggies covered *with* sauce.

Heat gently to a simmer. Once simmering, start messing with the flavor. Add some herbs -- how much depends on how well-flavored the original marinara was. Add chili and chipotle for heat and depth. (NOTE: the chili powder we got from Auntie Arwen is actually a tad too hot, and not smoky enough on its own. I suspect this would be better if I take the extra 20 minutes to roast and grind my own fresh chili powder instead. Cook's Illustrated describes the process, which is actually pretty easy once you've scared up the chili peppers.) Simmer gently, covered, until everything is piping hot, and the flavors have melded, maybe 10-15 minutes.

Serve with a slice of cheese melting on top (optional -- I like it, she doesn't), and lots of tortilla chips. Tostito Scoops work rather well as an edible implement for eating this. Refrigerate promptly: apparently keeps a couple of weeks in a cold fridge, and like all good chili is quite good reheated. (But reheat on stovetop: the microwave is likely to do too much violence to the veggies.)


Invented by Justin, inspired by having a decent veggie chili at a conference: see the original post for the full story.  Called "Veggie-ish" because the original implementation used a couple of burgers as the protein unit, because they were to hand.