Clean-the-Fridge Vegetarian Chili

This is a great way to use up all those bits and pieces of veggies in your refrigerator. Serve over bulgur, whole grain pasta, or all on its own, and try topping with a little good quality, grated Cheddar.


1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cups chopped vegetables, whatever is in your fridge
1/4 to 1/2 cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine
1 (15-ounce) can juice pack tomatoes, roughly chopped, including juice
1 (6-ounce) can low-sodium V-8 juice
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth (more as needed)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried (or Italian spices)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Empty both cans of beans into a colander and rinse well.  Then dump them into a large bowl of water and let them soak while you sauté the veggies (soaking canned beans removes 30-40% of the sodium).
  2. Roughly chop up 5-6 cups of your favorite vegetables and saute in a little olive oil. A typical mix might be: 1 small red onion, 1 large carrot, 2 stalks celery, 1 large zucchini, 1 large yellow crookneck squash, 1 large red, yellow or green pepper, 6 mushrooms.
  3. Add 1/4-1/2 cup vermouth or cooking sherry or wine and boil off for 1-2 minutes. This step is optional, but it deepens the flavor. Then add everything else to the pot, including the rinsed and drained beans. Add more broth if you like your chili soupier.
  4. Simmer everything for about 40-45 minutes and enjoy. The chili gets better and better the longer it sits!

Photo credit: Oldways

Nutritional Analysis: 
Calories: 120, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 270mg, Carbohydrate: 16g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 7g
8 Servings

An Oldways recipe


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