A vegetarian chili.

Another open-ended one-pot recipe. Two cans of beans should work in place of the dried beans, but I haven’t tried. Step 1 might be best done the day before.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups of dried beans (any kind, or a mix, works), soaked overnight
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 cup mushrooms (button, shiitake, maitake/hen of the woods, etc.), chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • A chili kit of choice, or the list below
  • lime, scallions, and cheese for garnish, to taste

If not using a chili kit:

  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp or so thickener of choice (optional; some kind of starch or flour)

Steps

  1. simmer the beans in lightly salted water until tender, about 45-60 min. Reserve about 3 cups of the bean broth.
  2. fry minced garlic in oil
  3. saute onions and peppers with garlic once the latter begins to brown
  4. add tomato once onions and pepper become translucent and soft
  5. add tofu, mushrooms, and tomato paste once tomato is soft
  6. when everything is combined together, add spices, beans, and reserved broth.
  7. simmer for a few minutes, adjusting the thickness with water or thickener. If adding a thickener, it may have to be simmered for longer. At this point I sometimes add a cup of farro or quinoa, and say that it’s ready when that cooks.

Garnish and serve as you would regular chili.

A red wine lentil farro stew.

A one-pot lentil stew recipe. Soaking the lentils overnight makes them cook faster, but is not necessary.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 US cups dry lentils
  • 1 US cup farro, rinsed
  • 2-4 tomatoes, or enough for 1.5 cups chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 0.5 US cups parsley, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 US cup dry red wine
  • 1 quart stock (vegetable, chicken, beef – anything works)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 heaping tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper, lemon to taste

Steps

  1. In a medium pot, fry the onions and garlic with oil, until onion is translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes to fried onions and garlic.
  3. Once tomatoes soften, add the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add lentils, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and stock. Add water or stock if the lentils aren’t covered.
  5. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until lentils are tender. Add some water if mixture gets too thick for your taste.
  6. At the 45 minute mark, add the farro.
  7. Simmer until the farro is tender, about 15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, and serve with parsley, pepper, and/or a lemon wedge. The stew can be blended for a smoother soup.