• I walked out of my yoga class, feeling pretty blissed out. I sent a quick text message to my husband telling him I’d be home in 10 minutes. Several minutes later, I received a text message. At the next traffic light, I took a quick look/see. Here’s what it said: “Cool. Great chili btw!”. Score:). And one of the best parts: early this morning, I made the chili, threw it in the crockpot, and left for about six hours. How easy was that?!

    When I meal plan for the week, I can always count on spending less money at the grocery store, throwing out less food (that hadn’t really been planned for), and eating out less. Last night, I sat down and planned our meals for the rest of this week, with inspiration in large part from Diane Eblin’s 30 Days To A Food Revolution event. Diane, whose blog is called The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, put a huge amount of work into creating an event that turned out to be an eye-opening experience for me, and as I said, was partially responsible for tonight’s Three Bean Vegetarian Chili. Not only was my participation in the event enlightening for me, but I was honored to be among the other 29 bloggers who contributed their voices and stories and recipes to the event. I learned so much, just by reading all the posts. Two of the very valuable lessons I was reminded of (among many) include the importance of planning ahead and choosing meals that are quick and easy (like Kickin’ Kidney Bean Burgers or Karina’s Veggie Loaf), especially for days when you don’t really have time to do much cooking. With that in mind, I sat down last night and planned my weekly menu. Tonight’s dinner would be Vegetarian Chili. Normally, I’d soak dried beans overnight, but for this chili recipe, canned beans were the way to go. You see, part of my meal planning includes taking a look at my schedule and determining how much time I have in the kitchen for cooking. I knew I’d be away most of today and would have just enough time to make the chili and throw it in the crockpot before leaving for the day. The result: dinner this evening, definitely tomorrow night’s dinner AND the rest will be frozen in meal-size portions.

    Daiya Cheese has arrived and I am SO EXCITED!!! It has become a staple in my kitchen. Whoever created it is a genius. It makes gluten free, dairy-free, and soy free (though I don’t have a problem with soy) living a cinch. The damn stuff melts, I mean REALLY MELTS!!!! And I can buy it at my local small health food store. The cheddar Daiya tastes like cheddar. The mozzarella tastes like mozzarella and you should see the pizza made with it. Unbelieavable, that’s all I can say!

    Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

    click here for printable recipe

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
    8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    3 tbsp tomato paste
    1 – 2 tbsp chili powder
    1 tbsp dried oregano
    2 tsp chipotle chili powder, optional
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp ground cumin
    One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
    One 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
    One 15.5 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    One 15.5 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    One package Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, removed from casing and sauteed (this ingredient is optional but highly recommended as it provides a hearty texture to the chili)
    One package Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, chipotle chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Mix well and cook for another minute.

    Pour the mixture into a 6 quart crockpot. Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, water, salt and pepper, and chorizo. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 4 – 6 hours.

    Serve with a handful of Daiya. If it doesn’t melt, put the bowl (with the cheese) into the microwave and heat on high for about 20 – 30 seconds until melted.

    So, what’s on your menu for this week?

    This recipe is included in The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays weekly carnival.
    • gfe–gluten free easily

      Success when creating dishes is the best feeling! And, having several meals as a result is great, too. :-) This recipe reminds me of the vegetarian chili I make … full of flavor and ingredients. 😉 Lately I've been adding a sweet potato to my chili (per Stephanie's sweet potato chili over at A Year Of Slow Cooking), and everyone loves that, too. Chili can be such a creative dish and so healthy for you. Thanks for your recipe! Oh, and I haven't tried the Daiya cheese yet, Ellen, but appreciate the recommendation. :-)


    • Anne WithanE

      Funny, I made one of my veggie chilis last night for supper. I don't usually mix beans in my veggie chilis. Most of my chili recipes I developed to showcase one type of bean- black, kidney, etc. I'll use cocoa in the black bean chili, for example, and smoked paprika, but not for the kidney bean one.

    • Tasty Eats At Home

      This does look really great! I have a vegetarian chili slow-cooker recipe on my blog…it does use dried beans, but I love it. (Dried beans are better when I can't get home for 9-10 hours with the slow cooker on low.) So Daiya cheese is that great, huh? I just went dairy-free, and while I'm becoming more used to navigating my way around (I have found a lot of great milk replacements and butter replacements), cheese is sometimes one of those things you just REALLY want, ya know? I might head out and try to pick up some.

    • Stephanie

      Yum. I've gotten really hooked on the umami of making chili with dry beans. Could you do this with uncooked beans soaked overnight, or would I have to cook them, too?

      And nice to see another fan of the Soy Chorizo! Even my non-vegetarian hubby loves it. I might have to add it on top of our chili though; too spicy for the little ones' palates.

      Thanks–I think I'll make this for the next Celtics game…

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Shirley – I thought about adding sweet potato, but then decided to let the mushrooms be one of the stars. But next time, sweet potatoes for sure.

      Anne – what a good way to think about chili recipes – by bean!

      Tasty Eats – yes, Daiya is great. Not in a star-studded specialty type cheese kind of way, but man, it is a great stand-in for cheese, especially because of its' melting ability.

      Stephanie – yes, by all means, make it with dry beans. I'd use 1 1/2 cups already cooked beans (per each type of bean). Not sure what about the quantity of beans pre-cooking, however – you'd have to check that out. And yes, save the chorizo for the grownups – it's not HUGELY spicy, but definitely has a kick to it. I forgot to mention in the recipe (I've amended it) that I squeezed the chorizo out of the casing and then sauteed it and then added it to the chili).

    • Gina

      Oooh! This looks like some really good vegan chili! I'll have to try your recipe. I'm looking for more dairy-free ideas right now. Thanks!

    • Hannah

      I can't believe I -still- haven't tried daiya! Must be the last vegan on the planet… But this chili looks delicious, with or without the cheesy topping.

    • Linda

      When I first saw the picture with t he cheese on top, I was thinking how much I miss cheese. Then I saw that it was Daiya! I haven't found any of that yet, but I haven't made a trip to Whole Foods. Your chili looks great. Thanks for joining Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

    • Aubree Cherie

      Ooo, I love vegetarian chili! I've never used Daiya cheese before, but it's nice to know that you find it tasty! I'm always afraid to try 'fake' cheeses, but I might have to pick this one up :)

      ~Aubree Cherie

    • Aubree Cherie

      Hey Ellen, just wanted to let you know I linked this to my fav recipes from last week! :)

      ~Aubree Cherie

    • Sarena Shasteen – The Non-Dairy Queen

      I haven't tried the cheddar Daiya yet, but I love the mozzarella! Your chili looks delicious!

    • Sophie

      MMMMMM,..that vegetarian & GF & dairy free chili loks quite fenomenal!!

      Looks very appetizing too!

      MMMMMMMMMMM,…all the way!

    • Melissa

      Wow this recipe looks incredible! I’ve noticed several recipes on your blog that look delicious. I plan on printing them out and giving them a try. Are they your own personal recipes or ones you have found along the way of going gluten free? I have Celiac disease and struggle to find satisfying meals quite often. I am also creating my own gluten free blog where I hope it will be as informative as yours. I just wanted to thank you for your generosity in sharing these wonderful tips!

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