As we'll soon be heading into autumn and cooler weather, my thoughts turn to warm and hearty foods. Soups and stews are wonderful because there's nothing better to warm you up and I just love the way the house smells when there's a big pot of something simmering away on the stove.
This recipe is one I put together a while back and everyone in my family just loves it. The ingredients are easy to find, it's simple to throw together, inexpensive and just down right good! This also freezes well, so any leftovers can easily go into a container and saved for another meal.
Hearty Vegetarian Chili
1 large can of pureed or crushed tomatoes
2 cans dark red kidney beans, don't drain
2 cans black beans, don't drain
3 bell peppers---1 green, 1 red, 1 orange or yellow
1 tablespoon garlic powder, or fresh minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
Put the beans and tomatoes in a crock pot; cover, and turn on high.
While that's warming up, cut the bell peppers into bite-sized pieces and saute in a pan with a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil. Season with a little salt; add the garlic, chili powder, and cayenne powder. Stir in well.
Once the peppers get some good color on them, remove from heat and add them to the crock pot. Stir.
Let this cook on high for about an hour, then turn down to low and cook for another 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remember to taste as this cooks and the flavors are coming together, because you might want to add a little more seasoning, or leave as is.
Just a side note---if you want to add meat to this chili, brown it beforehand as you did with the bell peppers, then add to the crock pot. We've made this with and without meat and it's good either way.