Though the original chili was all meat — traditionally served on a plate with a side of beans, the two mingled and were eventually incorporated — there’s no reason it needs to contain meat at all. Chili is a great vehicle for a big assortment of veggies, particularly winter ones like squash, sweet potatoes, rutabaga and root vegetables. It’s also a great way to get more beans into your diet — beans are inexpensive, high in fibre and protein, and as good for the planet as they are for us.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
Combine all ingredients in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are very tender and chili has thickened.
Serve warm, topped with sour cream or crumbled feta, if you like, and extra cilantro. It also freezes very well, so you can tuck extras away for another day, or double the batch and share the surplus, or get a head start on future meals.
Feel free to play around with the veggies in this pot of chili — you’ll never miss the meat! And though this works in a slow cooker, you could easily make it in a pot on the stove—start with some vegetable oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasonings according to your taste.