Once every two weeks I visit my daughter to give her a hand with after school activities, supper and bedtime. Time can be of the essence in a family when both parents are working, so I like to take the supper with me. Even though my daughter says that I don’t always have to bring something that both kids like, I kinda like to, seeing as I am their Grammie and all.
So, before one of these special visits, I planned to load up the car with my offerings, pretty pleased with myself that my trunk would contain one of their favorites – Bean Chili with all the fixings.
Quite proudly, I said to myself:
Oh yes, I am going to knock it out of the park with this one. Yes, indeed-y!
Sadly, I had made a slight miscalculation in my thought process and execution.
You see, I have been busy trying new recipes to make in my new Instant Pot, a gift from a kind and caring Facebook Friend who, like me, is vegan. I came across a mighty tasty looking Chili with Sweet Potato and Corn and decided to try it. I chopped and sautéed the veggies, added the other ingredients, secured the lid, set the time and crossed my fingers. Fifteen or so minutes later, I gleefully opened the lid to see a beautifully cooked, aroma filled Chili. I couldn’t wait for my tasting spoon to hit the tomato red concoction sitting prettily in the inner cooking pot. I was disappointed.
It is sweeter than my standard Chili. I don’t think the kids will like it. No, I am sure the kids won’t like it.
Hastily, I headed over to my pantry to see what could be added to cut the candy apple taste.
Sweet!- I have a jar of pasta sauce that will do very nicely. I popped the lid and added the salty mixture to the sweet.
Better, but still not it. Maybe some more chili powder is required. Better, but still too sweet.
I never did get it quite right, but I decided to pack it up and take my chances. I got busted on the first bite.
The conversation went something like this:
“This is not your regular chili, Grammie. This is way too sweet.”
But look, it has sweet potato in it. You like sweet potato.
Not in Chili, I don’t.
And once one says it, the jig is up for the second “grandchilblet” giving his stamp of approval. They struggled through the disappointment, ate some of it and made me promise not to do that again.
The good news is that their request propelled me to finally put pen to paper and write down my “make it on the fly”, Bean Chili.
It is designed to be super simple to make for families. It can be served spicy or mild, can be made ahead and frozen and makes use of ingredients usually found in one’s food cupboard.
Grab a bowl, a spoon, heap on the toppings and enjoy.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
Heats well in the microwave, oven, slow cooker or on the stove top.
Halve the recipe if you wish.
Substitute any kind of bean for the kidney beans or add two or three kinds of beans.
Add more or less chili powder to control the heat.
Add canned or frozen corn at the end of the cooking time.
Serve over rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash.
Top with guacamole, cashew sour cream and/or plant based cheese.
Sprinkle with hemp seeds for an Omega 3 punch.
Serve with a side of bread or quick bread.
May all beings be happy and free.