Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cincinnati Style Vegetable Chili

Like most people this time of year, I've been eating simple low calorie meals, in reaction to the carb loaded diet I found myself eating in November and December.  I made a big one pot meal of chili beans the other night adding a sweet potato and some kale.  This is the first meal I felt inspired to blog about all month, I've mostly been making soup.

No one is quite sure how or when chili, most likely without beans, was invented.  Cattle drives in Texas certainly popularized this dish.  One pot meals of meat, chili peppers, onions, herbs and spices became quite popular around San Antonio in the early 1700's.

Cincinnati style chili involves adding cinnamon, allspice, cloves and even cocoa to chili that is served over hot dogs or spaghetti. This was introduced in the 1920's, by some inventive immigrants trying to increase their customer base at their hot dog stand.  I added a cinnamon and cocoa to my chili because I thought it complimented the sweet potato.  I used chili powder in this recipe but feel free to add fresh chili peppers if you have them.  Just because I don't like really spicy foods doesn't meal you can't fire this up with fresh peppers.

Most all traditional chili involves meat, but I used these soy crumbles as a substitute along with kidney and black beans.

I added onion, garlic, sweet potato and kale.  I used kale because I have a lot of it growing in my garden, but you can get creative and use carrots, spinach, or chard.  It's a great way to get veggie hating family members to eat vegetables.  It how I get Mr RK to eat eat kale, he's not a fan.

Chili is a wonderful low fat, low calorie, one pot meal for a cold winter dinner....or for Super Bowl Sunday.  I topped mine with non dairy sour cream and cilantro sprouts.

Cincinnati Style Vegetable Chili
Serves 6 - Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

1 sweet potato
3 teaspoons sunflower or safflower oil, divided
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 -3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
(optional) 1 fresh chili chopped with or without seeds
1 12 oz package veggie crumbles
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can kidney bans
2 cups chopped kale (or other greens)
For toppings: non dairy sour cream, cilantro and/or non dairy cheese

Preheat your oven to 425
Peel and chop the sweet potato into pieces
Coat the pieces with 1 teaspoon of the oil
Roast the sweet potato for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
While the potato is roasting:
In a large pot, warm the remaining oil over a med low heat
Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 -7 minutes
Add the herbs, spices, salt and cocoa and stir
Add the diced tomatoes and stir.
Add the veggie crumbles and stir until broken down.
Add both cans of beans, but only drain one can of it's liquid.
Add the chopped kale.
Stir, increase the heat to medium.
Cook for 5 minutes stirring often.
Add the roasted sweet potato and stir.
Cook for another 3 minutes and serve.

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