This Simple Spicy Vegetarian Chili is my absolute go-to all fall and winter up here in the Pacific Northwest. It is easy to make and so delicious. Perfect for busy evenings, for entertaining and for game day as well. Especially in winter, I make big batches of my favorite spicy foods and take them for leftover to work. Using simple ingredients like onions, garlic, peppers, tomato sauce, and canned beans, it is easy to create affordable and healthy dishes. This recipe makes a LOT so it definitely creates perfect leftovers for dinner later in the week or work lunches. I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my family always do – this Simple Spicy Vegetarian Chili is a sure winner.
This recipe is also very affordable. There is a common misconception that healthy food needs to be more expensive but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s a piece by Huffington Post on whether eating healthy foods is more expensive. You DO need to shop smart whether you’re buying healthy or unhealthy food. I noticed that I can get a lot more at Safeway or QFC than I can at Whole Foods or PCC but I still enjoy shopping at the latter stores much more because they have a lot of the specialty ingredients I need. However, I only shop for two and that’s quite different than a larger family. I had a bunch of pantry ingredients already so I just bought a few things. Here’s what I came up with including real time pricing from City Target and PCC in Seattle:
3 cloves garlic, minced (0.57 per bulb so a clove was 0.07)
1/2 yellow onion, diced (0.50 for 1/2)
1 organic bell pepper, diced (1.15 for one pepper)
1 Anaheim pepper, diced (use less if it’s quite spicy)(6.99 per pound, 1 pepper weighs 0.31 oz and I used 1/2 s0 0.07)
1 can diced tomato (0.89)
1 jar/32 ounces tomato sauce ($1.69)
1 cup corn kernels (1.15 per 1/2 bag or 5 oz)
2 cans red kidney beans (0.75 per can)
1 can chickpeas (0.75 per can)
Total: (not including pantry items like olive oil and spices) $7.02 with 8 servings so under a dollar per serving or 0.88!
Aside from the cost benefit, it is also healthy and nutrient dense. Using beans for protein instead of meat maximizes both protein, fiber and antioxidants while removing saturated fat from the equation. Herbs and spices added to simple ingredients like tomatoes, onion and garlic create the perfect blend of familiar, comforting flavors.
What’s your favorite chili ingredient? Let me know in the comments!