Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Autumn


I love autumn. It is by far my favorite season. When I lived in Utah, spring was a close second (our spring in Northern California is mostly just warmer rain, as opposed to the colder rain of winter. Blah.) I love the crisp feeling in the air, the fall colors, the clothes layering that adds extra dimensions to an outfit, and I love fall food. Give me a cool fall day and I'll bake up a storm. Not so great when you are trying to win the battle with baby weight.
So today dawned cool and overcast with a briskness to the wind. By noon I had changed out my original dinner menu for a pot of my favorite vegetarian chili and a pan of cornbread. I have been pretty busy all day--not home long enough to defrost the butter for cookies--so I have avoided any truly dangerous baking, but then again, this is only day 1 of fall.
Anyway, I thought I'd share this recipe with you in case it feels like autumn in your neck of the woods. It tastes delicious and is completely guilt-free. The original recipe came from Cooking Light in December 2003, but I've tweaked it a little and added a few ingredients to make it mine. Here's the modified version.
Best Vegetarian Chili
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped yellow pepper
  • 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. cocoa powder
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 2 cans Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can corn, drained)
Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Saute 5 minutes, until tender. Add spices (sugar through black pepper) and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add tomatoes and all the beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add corn and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more.
Serve with 2 T. chopped avocado, a dollop of light sour cream, and/or a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese. Yum.
(The above picture was taken almost three years ago, two days before Ian was born, at Apple Hill, our favorite fall destination. I'll do an Apple Hill post as soon as we can get there.)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chili today and ....
I think Grammy is making the same.
I love this time of the year tooooooo.
Love,
Papa

Suldog said...

Autumn is by far my favorite season. The only thing I like about summer is baseball; otherwise, you're likely to find me cooped up in air conditioned comfort most of the time.

Michal said...

dad,
glad you came over and ate my chili. no sense in both households making the same recipe on the same night.

Michal said...

suldog,
you'd get along great with my four brothers--all baseball fans (or more specifically, angel fans. on second thought, maybe you wouldn't get along with them!)

Suldog said...

I have nothing against Angel fans. As a matter of fact, I'll probably be rooting for the Angels - if they end up playing the Yankees in the playoffs!

Kimberly said...

I adore Autumn, and it sets me off on a baking spree as well. I made cookies yesterday and I've only had two so far. Hooray for small miracles!

Michal said...

suldog,
i get it. you like anyone who plays against the yankees. my husband feels that way about byu sports(yes, it is my alma mater. he graduated from our arch rival, the university of utah.)

Michal said...

kimberly,
i caved and made cookies today. i've only eaten one, but i'm not counting the ridiculous amounts of dough i've consumed.

Harry's Mom said...

I hate autumn! I turned my heater on today for the first time since May. I do like Chili though - I'm intrigued by some of the ingredients and will be trying your recipe. I really enjoy a white bean in my chili - seems to give the finished dish more visual contrast. Cheers! Stacy

Michal said...

stacy,
you should definitely put white beans in. i'm all about mixing up a recipe to make it more my style, which is why i added more pinto beans to this recipe.
i'm sure that in the northwest autumn just means extra damp. yick. how do you live up there?

Diane said...

Oh, my! This looks fantastic! I'm gonna try it this weekend. I have all the ingredients already lurking around.

Deborah Gamble said...

I'm defintely making some of this!

Diane said...

Alrighty! I've got a big pot of this simmering on my stove right now, and I gotta say it smells fantastic. Thanks for passing on the recipe! I made a double batch, and the fall weather is perfect for chili today.

Michal said...

diane,
hope you enjoy it as much as i do. i've now been a week without some in my fridge and i'm craving more. the good thing is that it's so easy and quick to make.