Monday, November 7, 2011

Chili Season (vegetarian-style)

It's officially chili season in our house! In the past, I made traditional chili with meat, beans, chili seasoning, and cheese. However, since we're always trying to eat a bit healthier, I came across this Weight Watchers recipe that has quickly become our favorite chili (yes, the husband loves it!) to make. And, get this, it's vegetarian! You won't even miss the meat, because bulgur is a whole grain that, once cooked, has a meaty consistency to it. Add all the awesome vegetables in there, and it's soo delicious. It makes great leftovers, too, since all the ingredients soak in the delicious flavor. 

*Note* I make the recipe almost exactly as printed below; however, I only use 1/4 of a poblano pepper, because I tend to like things on the milder side. Even cutting the darn pepper makes me tear up and start coughing. This Irish-German gal just can't take the heat. I also add one whole bell pepper to supplement the rest of the poblano pepper. It works wonderfully!

Bulgur and Bean Chili


1 1/2 tsp olive oil   
 1 cup(s) (chopped) onion(s)   
 2 medium poblano chile, or cubanelle peppers, chopped   
2 Tbsp chili powder   
1 Tbsp minced garlic   
2 tsp ground cumin   
3 cup(s) water   
 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree   
 3/4 cup(s) uncooked bulgur   
1 tsp table salt, or to taste   
 1 cup(s) yellow corn, fresh or canned   
 15 1/2 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained   
1/2 cup(s) cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped   
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste   


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, garlic and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add water, tomatoes and their puree, bulgur and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in corn and beans (and a bit of water if chili seems too thick); simmer, covered, over medium heat, until corn and bulgur are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.