This is the perfect recipe for Throwback Thursday. In the 90’s I used to make this Vegetarian Black Bean Chili all the time. It was my favourite chili to eat back in those days, well that and my Mom’s 4 bean chili. Then I met husband (fussy) and our chili nights became variations of meat chili. Now I have no issue with meat chili as there are many ways to make a chili and I love to experiment. But every once and a while there is a smell or memory that comes up and reminds me about this simple but tasty Vegetarian or I guess you could call it Vegan Chili from my younger years.
I love how versatile chili is. Eat it with corn muffins, on a pizza or top a baked potato with a spoonful of chili. Occasionally I pick up some smallish round whole wheat buns, scoop out the insides and serve my chili in a bread bowl. You could even clean out a pepper or half of a zucchini, spoon some chili in and bake it until the pepper or zucchini is just tender but still holding their shape. Chili in Scoops or in a Quesadilla is fun for the kids.
My kids have never tried my vegetarian chili so I decided to tone down the spice so they don’t burn their little mouths. Since I love spice I needed to find a way to add it back in, so I made a quick, fresh jicama and jalapeno salsa as a Chili topper adding both heat and texture.
Things to remember…you can add anything into chili. If you don’t have black beans use kidney beans, red or white, or pinto beans. Omit Ancho Chili powder if you can’t find it. Add mushrooms, leeks, shallots, celery root, or yam to change up the flavour. Or try adding in some cooked quinoa.
Top with your favourite fixings or with a quick jicama and jalapeno salsa (recipe below).