Bean Stews and Chilis
There has rarely been a comprehensive collection of vegetarian or vegan recipes, in print or online, that didn’t include at least one recipe for chili. Bean-based chills are warming, hearty, and inexpensive. They’re as welcome for everyday meals as they are for parties and potlucks. They freeze well and are also a great lunchbox option. Here’s a handful of chili varieties to choose from. more→
Lentil chili is deliciously offbeat, especially with the addition of sweet potato. Smoky spices, intended for grilling, are readily available in the spice section of supermarkets, and add a bold but not overly hot flavor to the stew. I like to serve this with fresh greens, steamed or sautéed and a simple slaw-style salad. Stone-ground tortilla chips and some salsa are also welcome! more→
A standard in the vegetarian/vegan repertoire, this variety of chili consists of beans and vegetables in a spiced tomato base. It’s great for everyday meals as well as casual company dinners. It’s especially welcome when the nippy days of late fall arrive. This mildly spiced chili is good in its basic form, or try the variations for spicing it up and embellishing it. Leftovers are great for thermos lunches. Perfect paired with Green Chili Cornbread or Vegan Cornbread. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Photos by Lori Maffei.
The presentation of this easy, offbeat soup, filled with spiced beans and grain (quinoa or bulgur) is like a taco turned inside out, is fun and dramatic. It’s perfect for a chilly weeknight meal, served with a colorful salad and a green veggie. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Photo by Theresa Raffetto. more→
This meatless version of a rustic Provençal bean stew is sensual and satisfying. A fresh, crusty French baguette is perfect for soaking up its delicious broth. A bountiful tossed salad makes it a complete meal. more→
With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is filling and warming. Baking or microwaving the sweet potatoes ahead of time cuts down on both the preparation as well as the cooking time. Enjoy leftovers for a thermos lunch or subsequent dinners. Serve with stone-ground whole grain tortillas — they’re great for dipping into the chili, or even for grabbing some of it, soft taco style. Or, fresh corn bread is a wonderful companion as well. Serve with a simple salad or any of VegKitchen’s coleslaws and/or a side of sautéed greens or steamed broccoli. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. more→
Here’s a great main dish option for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s somewhat like chili, though more about the squash than beans. In Native American mythology, squash, corn, and beans are known as of the “three sisters” — the very crops that the harvest festival of Thanksgiving is meant to celebrate! If you bake your pumpkin or squash a day ahead, the stew will come together in a snap. And if you’re not accustomed to dealing with winter squash, or don’t have the time, see the shortcut following the recipe. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet.
While this bakes, you will be enchanted with the aromatic mingling of nutty coconut sauce infused with lime, ginger, and curry. It is a deeply flavorful dish that is also almost effortless in preparation. Everything comes together lickety-split and you have an exotic bean entrée to serve over rice. Recipe reprinted from Let Them Eat Vegan* by Dreena Burton (Da Capo, ©2012), by permission. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.