Every now and then my seven year old brings a recipe home from school, something they learned to make during class that day. I love that he and his classmates get a chance to cook during school, and the recipes are printed with very kid-friendly instructions, and notes about which nutrients each ingredient provides! Last Friday, I was delighted — a totally vegan, delicious-sounding chili recipe. Not only that, but he told me it was delicious.
So I made sure to buy all the right ingredients and tonight we all set to work! The kids had such a great time making this chili, and were so proud of themselves because they got to use a sharp knife to cut vegetables. I asked them if there were any vegetables they would like to add to the chili, and they decided that some chopped carrot would be nice, so they even got to add their own touch to the recipe. My 5 year old peeled the carrot all by himself and put all his muscle into opening the cans of beans. My 7 year old diced a green pepper with care and precision, and measured all the spices himself.
We prepped all the veggies, spices, and beans and placed them in little bowls near the stove, so that when it was time to actually cook, it was all ready to go, just like in a cooking show. I think their favorite part was dumping each bowlful into the pot and mixing all those beautiful colors together. When we first put the green and red bell peppers in with the onions, my 5 year old squeeled, “it looks like Christmas!”
The finished product was incredibly colorful and delicious, so I’m calling this “confetti” vegetable chili. The best part? Both kids gobbled it up with relish, and took second helpings. Since they had prepared it, there was no need for the usual scrutiny and examination of each tiny little bit.
Here’s the recipe for you, but as my 7 year old reminded me, you can add or substitute any vegetables that you like:
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz can corn, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups frozen)
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (I actually diced up some fresh tomatoes since I had them on hand, and added 1 cup water)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrot and cook until onion is translucent. Add red and green bell peppers and saute until tender. Add all seasonings except cilantro and stir until all vegetables are coated with the spices. Add beans, corn, and tomatoes with juice (or fresh tomatoes and water). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Serve, sprinkling fresh cilantro on top of each bowl.
Serving suggestion: We ate this with a side of baked corn chips, guacamole, and salsa. To make the guacamole, simply mash up 2 avocados, add some salt and lime juice, and then stir in a couple of spoonfuls of salsa. I particularly liked eating this chili with some guacamole spooned right on top of it. Deeee-lish.