Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Food for Help Desk Party

Today we are having a help desk potluck. I have never cooked a vegetarian dish before. Most of the staff are from India and most do not eat meat. I only have a crockpot slow cooker to cook in so this is what I made:

Steve's Vegan Vegetarian Chili

Colorful, tasty, satisfying, guaranteed to please starving help desk staff. Serves 4 - 6, Can be doubled to feed a herd! This vegetarian chili is a great vegan meal by itself, or with salad and cornbread (or naan,) or make it vegetarian with parmesan or ricotta cheese, or sour cream.


  • 2 cans kidney bean, drained and rinsed + 4 cups water
  • 16 ounces Vegetable Broth (with 16 more in reserve)
  • 1 cup bulgar (or cracked wheat)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped small
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, or canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper or 1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled, or 1/2 tsp dried, or a chunk of dried ginger candy cut into slices with sugar washed off.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tsp crushed jarred garlic)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each: paprika, gr. cumin, coriander, fennel
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 c. minced parsley
  • 1 Tblsp soy sauce (optional)

Chili Directions:

  1. Preheat saute pan or frying pan on medium
  2. Prep veggies, including garlic, if you're using it
  3. Saute veggies in oil 5 minutes
  4. Add remaining spices, saute another two minutes
  5. After sauteing the veggies, transfer everything to the cooker. Add minced parsley. Cover and simmer on low at least 2 hours. Add soy sauce to taste. Add broth held in reserve as needed to keep desired balance of liquid and solids. Bulgar absorbs broth as it cooks and more evaporates away. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves when served.

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