If you’re anything like me, every time you make chili, you just sort of wing it. Sometimes it comes out great and sometimes it’s just okay. I’m posting this recipe more for me than for anyone else, because this chili was perfect for me: full of veggies, just enough chili powder, and incredible leftovers.
I remember when I was young, my parents would make two pots of chili. One of the meat eaters and one for the not meat eaters. LONG ago when I ate the meaty chili, I was sad that it never had carrots. My mom’s meat free chili would have them, but my dad hates carrots, so the meaty chili was carrot free. Are carrots normal in chili? Definitely not. But if there was an option for extra veggies, I definitely wanted it! Now that I make chili for myself, you’ll see that I get all the veggies I want, including carrots that my dad hates and mushrooms that my mom hates. Ahh the perks of being an adult.
Make this chili, and make it your own. Swap out veggies you hate, add in veggies you love. Zucchini, kale, Brussels sprouts — these are all things I’ve put into chili and would definitely do again. Let me know if you have any more veggie additions you think rock. I’ll definitely try them!
15 oz can crinkle cut carrots (can use frozen; if using fresh, precook or simmer chili long enough to avoid crunchy carrots)
2 stalks celery
15 oz can tomato sauce
2½ c V8 (I used high fiber)
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (GF: use GF soy sauce or liquid aminos)
3 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp. cumin powder
5+ tbsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste
Rough chop all of the fresh veggies into similar sized pieces.
Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker or large pot. In a pot, heat to boiling then reduce to simmer. In a crock pot, set to low. I recommend cooking for as long as possible to fully develop flavors – I usually give it 4 hours but have eaten it as soon as it’s hot before.
Taste and adjust spices as it cooks. Stir occasionally.
Serve with avocado slices, sour cream, cheese, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast — whatever your favorite chili toppings are!
We got 8 large bowls out of this. Exact amount produced will vary based on how bulky your veggies are, but you can safely assume at least 8 cups.