The Forum: Versatile chili easy to adjust

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Friday, December 4, 2009 12:01am
  • Life

Crockpot or kettle, without meat or with, a spooner-upper from Marysville cook Fran Brown can be adjusted exactly the way we want.

“This is called vegetarian chili,’’ she says, “but it would be good if one wanted to add meat. It has good flavor as it is.

“It was also recommended for cooking in a slow cooker, but I was hungry and did not want to wait that long, and I noticed most of the work preparing the dish was done before it went into the crockpot, so when I got all the ingredients together, I cut the recipe in half and put everything in a 4-quart kettle.

“After letting it come to a boil, I turned the burner down to low and within an hour, it was ready. I think it is very tasty,’’

Vegetarian chili

1/2 cup olive oil

4 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, seeded and chopped

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cubed

4 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained

2 cans (about 141/2 ounces each) crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

6 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon liquid hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until they start to become soft. Add the green peppers, red peppers, garlic and tofu; cook and stir until vegetables are lightly browned and tender. (The whole process should take about 10 minutes.)

Pour the beans into a crockpot and set heat on low. Stir in the cooked vegetables and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir gently and cover. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

The Forum is always happy to receive your contributions and requests, so don’t hesitate to send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

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