Barn-Burner Chili from VEGAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS & Book Review

The Holiday season is a special time for gathering with family & friends, and don't forget all the yummy comfort foods. The wonderful traditions that we grew up with and now share with our own families make our lives more beautiful and enjoyable. Food is always a great way to bring everyone together. I love creating and trying new recipes, and the Holidays are a good time to do this. Vegan cooking expert Zel Allen demonstrates in her book, Vegan for the Holidays, that plant-based foods are as delicious, innovative and elegant as their hallowed meat-based counterparts.  You all know I am a big supporter of whole, plant-based foods and my biggest goal is to make it taste delicious and familiar as the memories you grew up with.  I have enjoyed making a lot of the recipes in Zel's book.  They are simple, pure,  and healthful!  I love the quote by Zel from page 3:
"As I sit down to plan my own family holiday dinners, I feel grateful for the rich bounty sown and harvested by our American farmers, who have enabled us to celebrate with an abundance of fresh foods.  And it gives me deep pleasure to invite you to join me in the kitchen throughout the season, as together we participate in fun celebrations and conclude each event with a darned good meal.  And now, let's bring on the holiday feasts."
You can find Zel at either of her websites:
Vegetarians in Paradise or Zel's Vegan NutGourmet.

The recipe I decided to share with you all came from Chapter 5:  Happy New Year Soup and Chili Bash
I made the fabulous Barn-Burner Chili.  You will absolutely love this yummy chili. It is so packed with flavor, I didn't need to add anything to it. It is hot, hearty, and full of spices that will warm you up during the cold months ahead.
Check out Little House of Veggie's with another wonderful recipe from Zel's book - Sweet Potato Soup.

Serves 6-8
2 onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large crown broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari
3 cups bite-sized chunks scrubbed white or red potatoes
3 1/2 cups cooked dried kidney beans, or 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, undrained
1 1/2 cups cooked dried pinto beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked dried black beans, drained, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
2 (6-ounce) cans unsalted tomato paste
1 large tomato, chopped
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke (I didn't have this, so I left it out)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)


1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, drained (I used frozen)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can black olives, drained and choped
2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I didn't use any cheese)

1.) Combine the onions, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the water in a large, deep skillet.  Cook and stir the vegetables over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and all the water has evaporated. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to prevent burning.

2.)Add the balsamic vinegar and tamari, stir well, and transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker.

3.)  Put the potatoes and enough water to cover in a 2-quart sauce pan.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium-high or medium and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the potatoes are just fork tender.

4.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker and add the remaining  2 1/4 cups water, all of the beans, tomato paste, tomato, maple syrup, chili powder cumin, vinegar, liquid smoke, salt, lemon juice, cayenne, pepper, and optional hot sauce.  Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

5.)  Adjust the seasonings, and spoon the chili into serving bowls.  Serve the toppings in separate bowls on the table or near the slow cooker and make the meal a self-serve chili-and-toppings bar.
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  1. Broccoli and Potatoes? Lemon Juice? Sounds good but a lot of ingredients.

    1. Hi Shen, it is great to hear from you. Yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but a lot of them are just seasonings. This recipe also makes a huge stock pot, that way you can share with your family & friends. Delicious!!!

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