When it’s cold and snowing outside, few things beat a hot and hearty bowl of chili to keep you warm. This dish has become my go-to meal when hosting groups large and small, not only because it is delicious, but because it’s one of my favorite vegan gluten-free recipes. To ensure all of your guests enjoy a meal that is hearty, tasty, and fulfilling no matter what dietary restrictions they may have, consider a basic three bean chili for the whole house. The best thing about this dish is even friends and family who eat meat or gluten ask for seconds.
It can be a challenge to cook for vegans and those with celiac disease—which restricts gluten—especially when hosting large groups of people. Even if you’re on a tight budget, this recipe uses inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients that most of us already have on hand. I always try to purchase beans that have no added salt so that I can control the sodium content. The same goes for tomato and vegetable stock (homemade is the best), as they often have a big chunk of the FDA‘s daily sodium recommendation listed on the label. If you can’t find these ingredients without sodium, that’s okay, but be sure not to add too much extra salt as you’re cooking.
Beans are a fantastic base for chili for being high in fiber, low in fat, and cholesterol-free, according to the USDA. They also have over seven grams of healthy protein per serving, and about 10 percent of your daily iron recommendation. Beans replenish the soil in which they are grown as well, making them a super food for you and the environment. Tomatoes, the other star of this chili, have a hefty helping of vitamin C, which is perfect for battling winter colds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cans of black beans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
- 2 cans of kidney beans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
- 2 cans of pinto beans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
- 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Place your olive oil, garlic, and onions into a large stock pot over medium heat. When the garlic and onions start to sizzle, add your green peppers. Salt and pepper the veggies and cook for five minutes. Add the beans, vegetable stock, and the tomatoes. Mix in the remaining herbs and spices, and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chili for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
I like to top this delicious three bean chili with some fresh green onions. The color brightens up the whole dish and the onions have a mild bite that contrasts the texture of the chili. A few other options for tasty toppings include avocados, cilantro, or some crushed corn chips for crunch.
One of the great things about chili is that it is completely adaptable to anyone’s specific taste. If you like spicy food, add jalapeno peppers, chili powder, and a few dashes of hot sauce to the mix. For a touch of sweetness with your savory meals, toss some chopped carrots and a tablespoon of brown sugar to the chili. You’re only limited by your own imagination.
What are some of your favorite vegan gluten-free recipes? Share your ideas in the comments section, or give us a shout on Twitter! Remember, #GoodMatters.
Images source: Laurie Fanelli