Barn-Burner Chili

Serves 6-8

2 onions, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 large crown broccoli, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 3/4 cups water

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon tamari

3 cups bite-sized chunks scrubbed white or red potatoes

3 1/2 cups cooked dried kidney beans, or 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, undrained

1 1/2 cups cooked dried pinto beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained

1 1/2 cups cooked dried black beans, drained, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

2 (6-ounce) cans unsalted tomato paste

1 large tomato, chopped

2-4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)

2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke (I didn't have this, so I left it out)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

2 dashes hot sauce (optional)


1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, drained (I used frozen)

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 (8-ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped

2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I didn't use any cheese)

1.) Combine the onions, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the water in a large, deep skillet.  Cook and stir the vegetables over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and all the water has evaporated. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to prevent burning.

2.)Add the balsamic vinegar and tamari, stir well, and transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker.

3.)  Put the potatoes and enough water to cover in a 2-quart sauce pan.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium-high or medium and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the potatoes are just fork tender.

4.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker and add the remaining  2 1/4 cups water, all of the beans, tomato paste, tomato, maple syrup, chili powder cumin, vinegar, liquid smoke, salt, lemon juice, cayenne, pepper, and optional hot sauce.  Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

5.)  Adjust the seasonings, and spoon the chili into serving bowls.  Serve the toppings in separate bowls on the table or near the slow cooker and make the meal a self-serve chili-and-toppings bar.