This is my go to Halloween dinner. Healthy, easy, and fun, what else could you ask for?
Yee-haw!! This chili is spicy! Just how I like it, especially on a chilly fall night, paired with sweet cornbread (recipe coming tomorrow). Are you feeling me?
This IS my Halloween go to meal. Not only is it easy to make, it’s also nutritious, best of all, it’s filling, so you’re less likely to fill your pie hole with candy. Now we’re talking! Let’s play would you rather. Here goes – would you rather stuff your face with savory, hot chili, packed with protein, veggies, and tangy tomatoes, or, would you rather cram sugary, artificially flavored and colored candy down your throat? Yeah, I thought the chili sounded better too. You can get your sweet-tooth on by eating the delicately sweet cornbread. Sounds like a much better option, right?
Every spoonful of this chili recipe is guaranteed to have chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and red bell pepper. And, of course, beans, lots of black and kidney beans. You can make it as spicy or as tame as you want by increasing or reducing the amount of chili pepper and fresh jalapeno pepper. It’s totally up to what you’re into. My family likes a little tongue lashing, kick in the pants, beads of sweat dripping down our brows, heat in our chili. It’s just how we roll. We usually have to tone it down when we cook for friends and other family members. I suggest that you start with one tablespoon of chili powder and half of a jalapeno pepper, taste, then slowly increase the heat until you get it the way you want it.
Give yourself some time to let this pot of fall goodness simmer so that the beans are cooked well. They should be soft and creamy when you take a bite, not hard and chewy. The beauty of the zucchini, yellow squash, and peppers is that they don’t get squishy, they somehow maintain a slight crispness, which compliments the velvety texture of the beans. If you won’t be home to get the chili started in the afternoon, cook it in a crockpot. Start it in the morning and it will be ready for dinner.
NOTE: I like to use Pomi boxed tomatoes to avoid the BPA and the metal taste found in canned tomatoes. I also use Edens
canned beans because the cans are BPA free.
If your kids are anything like mine used to be – I say used to be because they are now in their 20s, boo-hoo, time goes too fast – you’re going to have to entice them with something that looks festive and spooky for dinner, or they will save their appetite for the pillow case of garbage that they schlep home from their trick-or-treating adventure. This is easy to do with chili. Take advantage of the tomato base (looks like blood), the beans (beetles), and the veggies (bone fragments – don’t ask why, just go with it). Kids are weird that way, their imaginations allow them to pretend that they’re eating something revolting and gross if it’s on their terms. Then, go one step further. Use a Halloween cookie cutter and turn the cornbread into ghosts, witches, or black cats. Float one on top of the chili and I can almost (some kids just don’t eat anything) promise that your little darlings will be filled with something good to eat before they go out begging for candy.
This year the hubs and I will be eating our veggie chili in front of the television while we watch a classic Halloween movie, after all of the cute trick-or-treaters have gone back home to count their loot.
Vegan Zucchini Chili
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
- 1 large onion – diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper – finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper – seeded and diced
- 2 medium zucchini – diced
- 1 large yellow squash – diced
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 2 – 15 ounce cans of organic kidney beans – rinsed well
- 1 can of organic black beans – rinsed well
- 1 26 ounce box of chopped tomatoes
- 1 26 ounce box of strained tomatoes
- 3 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons of vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot on medium high heat. Add the onions, jalapeno, and red bell pepper and cook for two minutes. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the rinsed beans, the tomato, and the water. Stir until combined. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce, stir until combined. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce heat to a low boil. Cook for two to three hours, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching the bottom. Add the salt 15 minutes before serving. Pepper to taste.