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  • Robert Bruce Adams

Winter Chili

I FOUND AN APPROACH TO A WINTER CHILI that works for those of us who still like meat in their chili. I first make a meatless chili that suggests a higher order of healthy choices, at least we are led to believe this in some quarters. It is so good and generates kudos from my girlfriend who is not a fan of red meat.

Yes, she is very serious about this issue. And, I must approach this with “mind over matter,” as I can get a bit conflicted myself. She can’t even imagine hamburger in her refrigerator, or on her stove. The clear wrapped packages in today’s supermarkets cannot hide what hamburger once was, at least in her book. Moo comes to my mind.

To support my desire to enjoy our meals together, I have learned to develop a meatless chili that seems to be working quite nicely for the two of us.

Bob’s Vegetarian Chili


1-2 TBS olive oil

1 large Spanish onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

3 celery ribs, sliced

½ each red and green pepper, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

I gather all the aromatics from my chopping board and sauté them in olive oil for a good five minutes in my large soup pan. I then add:

1-2 TBS Chili powder

1 TBS ground Cumin

½ can sliced hot Jalapeños

1 TBS Frank’s hot sauce

Salt and pepper

I let this bloom for a couple minutes and slow down just enough to take in the developing fragrance.


1 – 15 oz. can whole tomatoes

1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock

Slow boil this all for a half an hour, then add three 15oz. cans of your favorite drained beans. Dark kidney, red kidney, Pinto, black beans, Great Northern navy beans are my favorites. They’re all excellent for this chili. Let this simmer for ten minutes and you are ready to serve.

Garnish the chili with chopped sweet onions, parsley and cilantro and grated cheddar cheese.

In my meaty version, I simply divide the chili into a second pot and add a pound of cooked crumbled hamburger prepped on the stove in a skillet. I drain it and keep in a serving dish like you were doing the set-up to make tacos.

Can you see my approach? It works, guaranteed!

Two happy campers.

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