Meatless Chili
We offer these recipes as a help in adding to our prayer and experience of solidarity with the poor during Lent.  Of course, they can be used at any time during the year.

ChiliThis simple meal can be an excellent source of protein. It can be made in a variety of ways. It can be made mild, medium or very spicy. It can have several kinds of beans or with a combination of them. It can be very thick or more like a soup. It can be served alone, with crackers, with a heavy multi-grain bread, or over a baked potato. Fresh or canned corn may be added. It can be served with a variety of shredded cheeses, with chopped onions or with a dollop of sour cream.

When adding all the ingredients, it is easy to pray for people around the world who cook with these spices and for whom beans are a main source of protein.

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Ingredients: (choose your quantities to suit your pot size and your personal preferences)

1 medium – 1 large onion, chopped
3 – 4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 – 3 bell peppers, chopped (or substitute or add Banana, Anaheim, Jalapeno, Serrano, Red Chili peppers – with or without the veins and seeds (the hottest parts) – depending on spiciness desired)
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, sliced or diced.
3 or 4 cans of beans (chili beans, red beans, pinto beans, black beans, pink beans, white beans) Use one, two or several kinds of beans, depending on personal preference.
2 - 3 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (crush the whole ones by hand before adding)
1 - 2 cans of tomato paste
3 – 4 quarts of water
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 – 2 tsp chili powder
½ - 1 tsp powdered cumin
2 – 4 tsp. Oregano, dried
2 – 4 tsp. Basil, dried
1 – 3 tsp. crushed black pepper
1 cup dry or sweet red wine (optional)

Preparation:

In your favorite heavy bottom pot, pour in olive oil and the peppers, onions and celery.
Add garlic for a few minutes, as onions begin to turn translucent and then brown.
Then, add beans, tomatoes and tomato paste.
Add water, seasonings and stir well. (For medium thickness chili, the water volume should be approximately double the volume of the solid material.)
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for an hour.
Chili is even better if you can cook it up to an hour longer on a simmer.
For a thicker chili use a hand electric blender to blend some of the chili for a very brief time.

(Try making it some evening or even early some morning and then putting it in the refrigerator for a day or two. It is even better and warms up easily for a quick meal.)
 



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