Hearty Vegetarian Chili with Polenta Cakes

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
 

Ingredients

1  tablespoon  vegetable oil

2  cups  chopped onion

1/2  cup  chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2  cup  chopped green bell pepper

2  garlic cloves, minced

1  tablespoon  brown sugar

1 1/2  tablespoons  chili powder

1  teaspoon  ground cumin

1  teaspoon  dried oregano

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1/2  teaspoon  black pepper

2  (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained

2  (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1  (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Basic Polenta

Makes 8 servings

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for grilling or sautéing if desired

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 quart chicken stock or broth

1 cup coarse ground cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Medium-Grind cornmeal)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces Parmesan, grated

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

 

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.

 

Serve as is, or pour the polenta into 9-inch round cake pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 2-3 hours.

 

Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds, or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and sauté in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.

 

Enjoy!