Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free & Veggie Chili

by Maggie on October 19, 2010

Hallowe’en is around the corner and Diane from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang is hosting this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free.  Diane’s theme is Scared Silly.  She wanted us to create something using an ingredient we once feared. Well people, I used to fear beans.  I knew nothing about them and therefore never ate them or cooked them.

Growing up my Dad and my sister and I used to sing the song Beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat…well you get the idea. So why would a young girl want to eat something that would give her gas?

On top of that, my Mom grew up on beans, beans, and more beans and basically vowed to never eat beans again. Therefore I never ate beans growing up. The only kind I remotely remember eating were canned beans – the kind that go with pork and beans. I just wasn’t exposed to all of the lovely varieties of beans.

Facing my fear

However, when I moved to Vancouver, B.C. to go to Teacher’s College, I began my first stint as a vegetarian so beans became part of my diet. But I still didn’t cook them. Just ate them when someone else cooked them.

It wasn’t until my second stint as a vegetarian that I really started eating and cooking with beans. I found a great recipe for black bean burritos and this quickly became a weekly staple for Pete and myself.

Back then I always used canned beans. Who was I to soak and cook my own? I would look in cookbooks that suggested that and think, “Nope, not me.  Now where’s that can of beans?”

But then one day I tried it – thanks to the “it’s easy” encouragement from my friend Glenn. And of course, thanks to Dreena Burton’s quick-soak method.

So now, once a week I pick a bean and it does us for a couple of dinners and a couple of lunches. Every now and then, when the week gets away on me or when I’m feeling like living on the edge, I crack open a can of beans instead of doing the soaking-cooking thing.

Vegetarian Chili

So with all of this talk of beans, let’s get onto my chili recipe! I chose kidney and azuki beans for this recipe but you could easily use whatever beans are in your cupboard. The azuki beans were nice because they’re pretty small so they kind of disappear into the chili so if you’re not a huge bean fan, this is the chili for you!

I added squash and sweet potato to the recipe because I love them, but also because I wanted to make my chili a little bit creamy and a little bit sweet.

Inspired by Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s recipe for 3 Bean Chili

4 tbsp water

3 cloves finely chopped garlic

1 medium sized chopped onion

½ cup chopped carrots

2 cups chopped peppers (I used red and green)

1 hot yellow pepper, finely chopped (no seeds – hot enough without)

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (no seeds – I am still afraid of peppers)

3  – 14 oz cans of tomatoes

1 cup water

1 cup frozen corn

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 cups azuki beans

2 cups kidney beans

1 cup roasted and mashed acorn squash

1 ½ cups roasted and mashed sweet potato

3 tsp sea salt

1 handful of chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat 4 tablespoons of water in a large soup pot (water replaces the oil and cuts down on the fat – tip courtesy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau).   Add garlic and onion and cook until soft.  Add carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add peppers, stir to combine and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, water and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and then add beans, squash,  sweet potato, and sea salt.  Stir to evenly incorporate the squash and sweet potato.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

Serve piping hot garnished with guacamole, cashew sour cream, and a sprig or two of cilantro (or a crispy rice tortilla like I did).

Serves 8-10.  I used fresh peppers for this recipe and it was the perfect heat for two little kiddies to enjoy.  If you don’t have fresh peppers, add 1-2 tablespoons of chili  powder.  And if you’re really adventurous, up the heat by adding some seeds or more chili powder.  Beware though, this chili gets hotter as the flavours marry.

As always, this recipe is linked to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

This post is also linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Make sure you check out the other Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free entries . Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free was created by Naomi Devlin of the awesome blog Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.

Last but not least, I submitted this post to a Texas Chili Cook-Off! Helen from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage is hosting, go check out all of the delicious looking chili recipes.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Miz Helen October 20, 2010 at 9:11 am

I am so excited that you brought your wonderful Vegetarian Chili to the Texas Star Chili Cook Off. I am so happy that you came over we are going to have so much fun.
Thanks for coming!


Maggie October 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hi Helen – Thanks for hosting! I am happy to join you.


Shirley @ gfe October 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

That is one colorful, beautiful pot of chili, Maggie! It looks amazing. I’d like some right now, in fact.

It’s so funny what we’re all afraid of! I have a huge list that I’m slowly whittling down, and I’m still learning to cook beans myself. I haven’t tried the adzuki beans yet, but want to. Yesterday I cooked Navy beans for the first time ever.

I’m working on my Scared Silly post, too. I love Diane’s theme. It’s one most of us can relate to and have fun with. 😉



Maggie October 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Thanks Shirley. I wish I could send you some! I’m whittling my list down too. Another major one for me was mushrooms. Pete has won me over with many great mushroom recipes though, and now I can’t imagine life without them. I’ve never cooked Navy beans. I’ll have to give them a go. Can’t wait to see your post!


Zoe October 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

The chili looks great, Maggie! Great choice with adzuki beans, too: I’ve made a Japanese confection that’s essentially a pancake sandwich with a sweet red bean paste, traditionally made with said beans.

I’m also working on my Scared Silly post – hoping to have what I’m making done and up on the blog asap, if I can make it; I didn’t realize how close the deadline was! I thought I had until next week.


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free October 21, 2010 at 12:24 am

Maggie! Love this! I just was working on my Scared Silly post to put up for tomorrow! Your chili sounds delicious! I love that you added sweet potatoes and acorn squash to this. I like my chili a bit on the sweeter side. I am submitting my pumpkin chili for Miz Helen’s round-up…
Will have to give your version a try for sure. My kiddos and I love a recipe I have for sweet potato black bean veggie burritos. The sweet potatoes also make the filling a bit sweet and the kids totally love it (or they do when i do not go overboard on the spicy factor).


Maggie October 22, 2010 at 5:57 am

Thanks Kim! Can’t wait to see your pumpkin chili. I thought about using some pumpkin in it! We put sweet potatoes in our black bean burritos too. It’s so yummy!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats October 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

Thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog 🙂

It is funny you asked about whether I use the dehydrator for anything else as lately I was thinking I really ought to do a dehydrator post – I do make 1 to 2 batches of kale chips a week, but I also make buckwheat cereal in it regularly, as well as dehydrating tomatoes, making flaxseed flatbreads, and am just getting into granola now 🙂


Linda October 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

I love all the veggies you put into this, but especially the squash and sweet potatoes. They make it a great fall meal.


Maggie October 24, 2010 at 8:05 am

Thanks Linda – it is a perfect Fall meal! Glad you liked it.


Lucy October 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Just found your blog through twitter and so glad I did. Read the About Me and I’m hooked 🙂 My mouth is watering at both your chili and pumpkin bread recipe…can’t wait to see what else I find!


Maggie October 25, 2010 at 8:29 am

Thanks Lucy – I’m so glad you found me too! I read your about me and was hooked reading about the Beatles. Big fans in our house! Always wanted to name one of my babies Prudence!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats October 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I LOVED the carrot hummus. It was delicious. Sooo sorry for not mentioning I had adopted you in a comment on your blog – I thought I had. But yes, I adopted you and have made both your vanilla choc chip ice cream (scrummy!) and the carrot hummus (addictive!). I am going to be travelling for most of the next couple of weeks so not sure I can get another recipe in before I write the adoption post, but those two recipes were both wonderful!


Maggie October 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Valerie I am so glad that you enjoyed the carrot hummus! And the ice cream too! Yay!


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

We eat A LOT of beans here! They are cheap, easy, tasty and good for you! It has taken some time, but I have gotten all the boys in to them. We love chili here too for sure. Yours looks delicious!


Maggie October 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hey Sarena – I’m still working on getting my 4YO into beans. He’s a little bit more discriminatory when I try to introduce new foods! That 4YO independence thing.


Eliza October 26, 2010 at 6:54 pm

MmmmmMMMmm. They look extremely good. Can you come over one day and cook for me? ha. Great recipes.


Maggie October 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Hey Eliza – Thanks! How about you come over and cook for me instead? Haha! Or we could just go out to eat!


Lucy October 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I made this last night and it was so dang good. I love the addition of squash.


Maggie October 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Lucy! Thanks so much for coming back to let us know that you made it and loved it! I’m so happy!


Alta October 29, 2010 at 6:36 am

This sounds so tasty. I love beans – they don’t love me back as much, so I have to limit myself. Darn it! I could dive into a huge bowl of this.


Maggie October 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Hey Alta – Sorry to hear about the lack of bean love. I don’t know what I’d do without them!


Miz Helen November 1, 2010 at 7:08 am

Congratulations Maggie! Our judges have named your Chili our Third Place Winner in the Meatless Category of the Texas Star Chili Cook Off. Your Chili was wonderful and the judges just loved it. Thank you so much for bringing it to the Chili Cook Off. Check out your link on the Winners Page!
Best Wishes!
Miz Helen


Maggie November 1, 2010 at 7:32 am

Yahoo! Thanks so much Helen! Can’t wait to check out the link.


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