Warming up on a chili day

It has been chilly here in southern California for the last couple of days. I found a thick coat of frost on my car this morning and my thermostat registered 55 degrees in my house. Even my pup Juliet was reluctant to leave the warmth of our bed for her morning walk. Brrrr.

The winter cold is a great incentive for cooking in the warmth of one’s  kitchen. And, there is no better time than a cold winter’s day to cook up a pot of spicy chili. It wasn’t an accident, after all, that Will Rogers called chili “a bowl of blessedness.”

February 23 is National Chili Day. Why not get a head start? If you are like me,  you are running behind on  many fronts during this holiday season. Being ahead of the game on something–anything!—might just buoy your spirits.

This recipe is adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. The link to that recipe appears at the bottom of this post. This makes a wonderful complete meal served with (or over) corn bread and accompanied by a green salad.

Yields 8 Servings

Vegetable Chili

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 C. chopped yellow onions
  • 1 C. chopped red peppers
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • l stemmed, seeded and minced jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 medium zucchini (diced)
  • 2 C. fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (stemmed and cubed)
  • 1-2 T. chile powder (to your taste)
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans (or equivalent cooked dried beans )
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (or equivalent cooked dried beans)
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (or equivalent cooked dried beans)
  • 3 C. vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 12-ounce package frozen Morning Star Griller Crumbles (or protein of your choice)
  • Grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and sour cream for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot until hot and add oniions, bell peppers, garlic and jalapeno peppers. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring often. This will take 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini, corn and mushrooms and continue to cook until all vegetables are soft and mushrooms begin to give off their liquid. This will take about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until fragrant .This will take about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, chopped cilantro, vegetable stock and Morningstar Grillers Crumbles and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro. Garnish with grated cheese, chopped avocado and sour cream.
Cuisine: Mexican-American | Recipe Type: Chili Beans


Like so many foods cooked with spices, this chili is better served on the second day after the spices have infused their flavors into the chile tomato sauce.

I used Rancho Gordo's wonderful (but spicy) New Mexico chile powder in this recipe.


Here is the link to Emeril Lagasse’s vegetarian chili recipe from which this chili recipe was adapted: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/vegetarian-chili-recipe.html


1 thought on “Warming up on a chili day”

  • I seem to have been picked for the hostess on Christmas Eve this year, due to the new house everyone wants to see....Hopefully I will be ready by then for company, family after all isn't too particular. This chile sounds like the perfect answer to me! ....thank you Lorraine, ! and Merry Christmas everyone!

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