Spicy Veggie Chili

  • 5-6 oz. dry kidney beans
  • 5-6 oz  dry small red beans
  • 1/2 bundle of celery, with leaves
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 big onion (white or yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 16 oz. can plain tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste

  • Vegetable Oil (about 4 Tbsp)
  • Olive Oil (about 4 Tbsp)
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Seasoning Salt (like Lawry's)
  • Plain Salt

This chili is so thick and delicious, you can eat it with chopsticks!

To Prepare the Beans: 
Follow the directions on the package.  Simply boil them for a few minutes, drain and refill the pot with water and soak at least overnight.  In the morning, drain them again, fill the pot with fresh water, and boil them over medium-low heat until they're done (takes hours).  If you go the "buy the can of beans" route, you'll need about 3 or 4 cans of your choice.

To Prepare the Vegetables: 
- Chop and slice the celery.  Leave some leaves; they add character
- Dice the onion
- Peel, chop, and dice the eggplant into about 1" cubes
- Slice the zucchini lengthwise, then chop it
- Crush and mince the garlic
- Dice the jalapenos finely, choosing to leave seeds for more heat, or to discard them if you want a milder chili 

Here We Go!

1. Once the beans have been cooked to your satisfaction, take a separate large wok-sized skillet and heat the vegetable oil (medium to medium-high heat). 

2.  Add the celery, onion, zucchini, garlic, and jalapeno.

3.  Sprinkle the veggies with about this ratio of spices:
       - A "palmful" of chili powder
       - 1-2 Tbs. of cumin
       - 1 Tbsp. coriander
        -1 Tbsp. seasoning salt (like Lawry's)
       - Cayenne pepper to your discretion (a little goes far!)

4.  When the veggies look like they're almost cooked through, consistently, hollow out a space in the middle of the wok and add the eggplant.  Drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle the plain salt  (about 1 Tbsp.)

5.  Gradually mix the eggplant with the other veggies, and cook it until it is soft and about the same reddish color as the other spiced veggies in the pan. 

6.  Drain and rinse the cooked beans one last time.  Don't refill the pot with water!  

7.   Add the cooked beans, the cooked veggies, the tomato sauce and the tomato paste.  This phase requires lots of stirring, making sure to get the tomato paste fully mixed in.   Cover and cook over low for about 10 more minutes, until heated through. 

8.  Enjoy!  Some people like chili sprinkled with finely chopped onions and some cheese; this is up to you.  Also goes well with cornbread. 

This recipe makes a lot and lasts awhile, if you're just one or two people.  Tastes even better the second day!