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3 Bean Vegetarian Chili and Skillet Cornbread

By Dharam Atma

This is delicious comfort food on a cold, winter’s night. Top a hot, steaming bowl of chili with grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped red onions! Add a large handful of Tortilla Chips or a few slices of skillet cornbread. Get comfy on the couch and find the remote! Ahhhhhhh!

3 Bean Vegetarian Chili
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  red onions, chopped + 1/2 red onion, chopped for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (can substitute w/Italian oregano)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt, more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 medium bell peppers (yellow, red, orange), chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños, deseeded and minced (optional for spicier chili)
  • 1  4.5-ounce can green chilies
  • 1 pasilla pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 Tbsp dried parsley)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  28 ounce cans Fire Roasted tomatoes, diced (break up tomatoes w/your fingers)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2  15 ounce can kidney beans (Drain liquid)
  • 1  15 ounce can pinto (Drain liquid)
  • 1  15 ounce can black beans (Drain liquid)
  • 1 ½  cups frozen organic corn, thawed (add in the last 10 minutes of cooking)
  • 1 ½ packages tofu, pressed, drained, and sliced (can also use tempeh)
  • Garnish Options: sour cream, red or green onions, grated cheese, thin slices of jalapeno, chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups cooked Quinoa (1/2 cup at the base of each bowl), optional

Directions:

  1. Press tofu with heavy weight, drain and pat tofu dry with paper towel to soak up any moisture.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil or non-stick spray in a large soup pot, add half of tofu and shallow fry until golden on both sides (about 3-4 minutes each side). Repeat with remaining tofu.
  3. Drain sautéed tofu on paper towel to soak up excess of oil while you finish frying the rest. Put tofu aside to cool.
  4. Chop or shred the tofu into small bite size chunks.
  5. Add more olive oil to the soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onions and bell peppers. Saute for a few minutes and season with cumin, oregano, and salt.
  6. Add in the shredded tofu. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then stir in the jalapeños (omit the jalapenos if you do not like your chili spicy), pasilla peppers, green chilies, and garlic.
  7. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  8. Mix the fired roasted tomatoes into the pot; break up the tomatoes with your fingers.
  9. Season chili with onion powder, chili powder and black pepper.
  10. Stir in the kidney, pinto, and black beans.
  11. Bring to a boil, add 1-2 cups purified water to make a soupy consistency, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes.
  12. Taste, adjust the seasonings, stir in the corn and the parsley; continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  13. Serve piping hot with garnishes and a plate of skillet cornbread. 

Skillet Cornbread  

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 ½  cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup finely ground almond, oat flour, or organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (or egg replacer)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 1/3  cup unsweetened almond or oat milk
  • 2 tsp - 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, whisk into milk (for a buttermilk-like taste)
  • 1/4 cup honey, agave, or coconut sugar (dissolve in the warm coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, cooled

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Place 2 Tbsp of butter on the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron pan and heat pan on stovetop to melt butter. 
  3. Next, mix all of the dry cornbread ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix until combined. 
  4. Mix the wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. It should be like a thick pancake batter.
  5. When the oven is preheated, pour the cornbread batter into the cast iron skillet and use a spatula to evenly spread it out.
  6. Place the skillet in the middle of the oven and bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove skillet from the oven, cover with a piece of foil and then bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the center is cooked (test the middle with a toothpick).
  8. Remove cornbread from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. Slice and plate the cornbread and serve with extra ghee and honey.

Dharam Atma spent many summers working at Summer Solstice and Women’s Camp retreats in New Mexico. She even ran the Women’s Camp kitchen for a couple of summers to pay for her Teacher Training in 2001. After college, she managed several different health food stores, where she studied kinesiology, reiki, and taught Kundalini Yoga. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is an accomplished vegetarian cook and numerologist.