Ohhh my how have we ended summer so quickly! It always seems to just fly by and before you know it here comes fall & winter. To properly welcome fall in all of it’s glory, I had to share this delish portobello chili recipe. It’s 100% vegetarian and is quite easy to throw together. Although I am a lover of seafood and meat, I actually do prefer this recipe vegetarian style. The portobellos soak up the wonderfully spicy chili flavor even more so than hamburger meat, creating savory & tender bites of deliciousness. When first introducing it to my husband a few years back he gave me this “where is the meat?” look… After his first taste it quickly made to the top his favorites list, “when are we having veggie chili again??” This dish takes a little spin off of my lovely mother’s original meat chili (definitely will be shared at a later date) and is a dish that holds multiple nutritional benefits. Portobellos provide healthy fats, carbohydrates, lean protein and fiber. They also provide a wonderful source of potassium making this meal nutritious and healthy. You wont even miss the meat, give it a try and let me know what you think!
-6 small organic portobello mushrooms (2 if they are large)
-2 handfuls organic cilantro (chopped)
-1 organic yellow zucchini or yellow summer squash & 2 organic green zucchini
-1/2 organic yellow onion
-2 boxes organic diced tomatoes unsalted (26.46 oz each)
-1 box organic garbanzo beans & 1 box organic kidney beans (13.4 oz each)
-4 cloves organic garlic
-4 tablespoons chili powder
-3 1/2 tablespoons cumin
-chili pepper flakes (optional & to taste)
-4 cups water
-extra virgin olive oil
-salt & pepper to taste
Begin with prepping your veggies. This makes the cooking process easy, allowing you to simply throw the ingredients in once ready. On a cutting board go ahead and chop your yellow and green zucchini, slicing each zucchini lengthwise and then across creating bite sized squares. Place into a bowl and set aside. Take your onion, slice it in half and dice into small pieces. Place into a separate small bowl and set aside. Clean your portobellos and chop into bite sized squares. I like to remove the gills of the portobello. You can leave them on although they will turn the broth of your chili to a very dark brown hue. In order to remove the gills, first remove the stem and use a spoon to lightly scoop & scrap the gills out. Be sure not to soak your portobellos in water when cleaning. If needed, use a damp paper towel to lightly wipe off any remaining dirt. Once chopped, place into a bowl and set aside.
Mince up your garlic and chop up your cilantro and set aside.
In a large pot, coat the bottom with olive oil and heat to medium-low. Add in your chili pepper flakes (optional) and diced onion. Lightly stir the ingredients around allowing the onion to cook until almost clear. It’s completely optional to add in pepper flakes or perhaps your chili of choice (I like to use 1 hawaiian chili pepper). This gives it the right amount of heat while not being too overwhelming.
Once the onions are almost clear, add in your garlic. Allow the garlic to slightly cook and move the contents around to help infuse the olive oil. Keep on medium-low heat.
Now toss in your chopped portobellos and turn the heat to medium. Sprinkle your chili powder, cumin and a dash of salt onto the portobello mixture. In addition, drizzle on a little more olive oil. You will notice the portobellos quickly soak up the olive oil, this is a good thing! They also begin absorbing the flavor of the spices like a sponge. Stir the portobello mixture around to ensure all is evenly coated with the spices and olive oil. Allow to cook down, stirring occasionally for 2~ minutes.
Add in your zucchini, stir about and allow to slightly cook down. You will notice the corners of the zucchini pieces will begin to turn slightly clear and soft. Continue to cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add in your diced tomatoes and water. Sir the ingredients around and bring to a boil. Once the ingredients begin to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Allow it to cook down for 45 minutes.
Once your ingredients have cooked down for 45 minutes, add in your kidney and garbanzo beans (strained & rinsed). In addition sprinkle in your freshly chopped cilantro. Allow to cook a bit for 5 more minutes.
Give your chili a taste to ensure it is the right amount of salty and to ensure you have that lovely, bold chili powder flavor.
Tip: Don’t be shy with the chili powder & cumin. These spices are the base of the dish & it’s really hard to over season when using them. When tasting the dish & you feel it could have a slightly stronger “chili” flavor, add in a teaspoon more of chili powder & cumin.
Remove from heat. Serve as is or sometimes I like to pour it over a scoop of cooked quinoa.