Vegetarian or Vegan Chili

Back when I was a sophomore at Butler, a friend in my dorm gave me a taste of this chili one night. I remember she gave me a Frito to scoop a bite with, which I topped with cheese. It was so good! I immediately asked for the recipe, knowing that by my junior year I’d be living in an apartment and cooking for myself. While I no longer eat it with Fritos and cheese, and I’ve tweaked it just a bit, it is a cold weather standard in our home. It comes together quickly and easily, and there are plenty of leftovers.

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1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup hot water
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon cayenne

2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
14 ounce can corn, drained
14 ounce can black beans, drained
14 ounce can red kidney beans, drained

Place the bulgur and hot water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then turn down low and simmer gently for about ten minutes.

While the bulgur cooks, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and saute the onion, garlic, cumin, chili power, and cayenne. When the onions are soft and a little translucent, stir in the bell peppers and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, corn, and beans into the pot. Stir, and continue to heat thoroughly on low heat.

Taste the bulgur. When it is cooked and chewy, add it to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to meld.

Serve as is, or with bread or tortilla chips (or Fritos!) Feel free to top with cheese if you’re not vegan.


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