Our summer garden has just about produced the last vegetables of the season, so I wanted to make a nice transitional meal with the few things we harvested this weekend. As it was quite rainy and dreary here, chili popped into my head as an appropriate option to make for Sunday dinner.
We got one lonely green bell pepper off of the plant, as well as a few more jalapeño peppers and one of the few remaining eggplants. I batch cook all of my beans once a month or so as needed, so I knew I could just pull some out of the freezer to bulk out a nice pot of veggies.
One of my “secret” ingredients to add some creamy texture and extra nutritional value is frozen winter squash purée. I love working with fresh vegetables as much as I can, but the freezer section has some great options to make things a little bit easier when you need the help. Frozen vegetables and fruits are also perfect for when a lot of things are not in season as they can retain more nutrients and are sometimes more economical than trying to buy out of season produce.
I used frozen corn, as well, so this dish was actually pretty simple to put together. Just a few chopped veggies, spices, and healthy packaged options come together for a hearty vegan meal!
End of Summer Vegan Three Bean Chili
Makes 6-8 Servings
- 1 medium onion, peeled & chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 1-2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded & chopped
- 1 small Chinese eggplant*, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 3 (15-ounce) cans of beans, rinsed & drained–can be any combination, but I used black beans, dark red kidney beans, & pinto beans
- 2 (15-ounce) cans no salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 (10-ounce) frozen package winter squash purée
- 1 cup water
Place a large stockpot on the stove top and warm up over medium heat. Add your onions and peppers to the pot, cooking for 5 minutes or until soft. Next, add in your eggplant and garlic to continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water as needed to prevent sticking.
After your vegetables have softened, measure out your spices and place in the pot with the vegetables. Stir and cook for about a minute to toast the spices, then mix in all of your additional ingredients in the pot. Increase the heat if needed to bring the chili up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for an hour.
Serve with your toppings of choice or just enjoy as is!
*Chinese (or Japanese) eggplant is the more slender and long variety as compared to the more bulbous Italian version. Feel free to sub whatever you have on hand, or even omit. I just wanted to use up the last of our garden’s bounty!