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Chunky Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Muffins

Chunky Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Muffins

This hearty bean-filled, vegetable-packed chili is so delicious it won't have anyone asking, "Where's the beef?"

Bite Me Bit

“Chili represents your three stages of matter: solid, liquid and eventually gas.”
-John Goodman on 'Roseanne'

Ingredients

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup canned chopped green chili peppers, drained
1 (28oz/796ml) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup mild salsa
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup couscous
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, for topping

Mini Cornbread Muffins

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, patted dry and finely diced

Directions

The Chili

1) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and season with chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, minced garlic and chopped green chili peppers. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in diced tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, salsa, vegetable broth, couscous, cocoa powder, brown sugar and cayenne pepper.

2) Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and serve in bowls, topped with shredded cheese.

The Cornbread Muffins

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 2 mini-muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Place thawed corn kernels on a plate. Pat dry and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper.

4) In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla and buttermilk.

5) Add butter mixture, roasted red peppers and corn kernels to dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine, just until flour disappears. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin to a wire rack. Serve alongside chili.

Yield: 30-35 mini muffins

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