This recipe is one of my favorites. A very hearty chili, perfect for dinner with cornbread and a salad. It is great also to double the recipe for a large group or party. Don't be afraid to try some of the variations, according to what's available. Make it in a slow-cooker or a large pot and freeze containers for when you don't have time to cook! Thaw, heat, and serve!
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small sweet pepper, chopped
4 to 5 large shiitake mushrooms, chopped (or use crimini, button, or portobello mushrooms)
4 to 5 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chiles chopped (mild, medium, or hot, your choice)
2 to 3 (or more) garlic cloves, minced
1 cup or 1 can (drained and rinsed) cooked black beans
1 cup or 1 can (drained and rinsed) cooked kidney beans
1 cup or 1 can (drained and rinsed) cooked pinto beans
1 cup or 1 can (drained and rinsed) cooked hominy (or corn)
1/2 cup uncooked pearled barley (or use wild rice, brown rice or quinoa)
1 small can tomato paste
1 bottle Mexican beer (optional)
1/4 cup mild chili powder blend*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Water or vegetable stock to cover
1/4 cup of cilantro for garnish
If you're using a slow-cooker, add all the ingredients (except garnish) together and cover. Cook on high for about 3 to 5 hours (depending on your cooker) or until vegetables and barley are cooked through, and it has thickened a bit.
If you're cooking on the stove, use a large heavy-bottomed stock pot, add all the ingredients (except garnish) and cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, for at last an hour. Make sure barley is well-cooked.
Garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro and, perhaps, a dollop of sour cream (regular or dairy-free), guacamole, salsa. Or a sprinkle of vegan or regular cheddar cheese.
*A note about chili powders: There are two kinds of chili powders. One is just ground, dried chile peppers, and may range from very mild (but highly flavorful) to very hot, depending upon the chile used. The second type of chili powder is a blend of dried chiles, cumin powder, Mexican oregano, and sometimes salt. Again, it may be mild or hot, depending on the type of chile used. Taste it before adding to determine how much you think your guests would most enjoy.
Variations Add or substitute other cooked beans: tepary, anasazi, aduki, chickpeas, according to your taste.
A chopped zucchini or yellow squash adds nice flavor and texture.
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Recipe by Rob Oser, thehippievegan.com