Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's For Dinner?

Pin It Now!
Spicy Vegetarian Chili 

This recipe has become my "go to" for chili- vegetarian or not.  The coffee and cocoa powder lend layers of flavor.  Adding the grated cauliflower is nothing short of genius.  It gives a familiar texture of traditional chili without the added fat or cholesterol of meat.  Imagine the possibilities of using grated cauliflower... I'm thinking a "meaty" layer in lasagna, or maybe tacos, really anywhere you'd use ground meat.
Also, I might caution that as the name implies, this chili is spicy.  Feel free to skimp on the ingredients that add the heat- the chipotle pepper/powder, or chili powder.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers (I like green best in this recipe), chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (or, I have used chipotle powder)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 corn tortillas torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus torn leaves for topping (optional)
  • Shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese sliced scallions and/ or plain low-fat Greek yogurt, for topping (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, chipotle, tomato paste and tortillas and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is brick red, about 4 minutes (add a splash of water if the mixture begins to stick). Add the coffee and simmer until almost completely reduced, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, cocoa powder, beans and 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens slightly, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the large stems off the cauliflower and coarsely grate the florets on a box grater. About 10 minutes before the chili is done cooking, stir in the grated cauliflower. Cook 10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt. Add some water if the chili is too thick. Ladle into bowls and add toppings.

Recipe adapted from: