Saturday, February 24, 2007

Moosewood Vegetarian Chili

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Today we are going to make vegetarian chili from The Moosewood Cookbook, which was in my weekly rotation when I was the chef at Oxbow, an arts program in Saugatuck, Michigan, run by the Art Institute of Chicago. I was chef and co-director with my first crazy husband for 2 summers. What an experience. I had a miniscule budget and could only afford to feed the students meat a few times a week, which made me very unpopular. So this was a great recipe because half the students — probably the stoned ones — thought it was meat. Most importantly, it’s tasty and nutritious!

6 cups cooked kidney beans
1 cup raw Bulgur wheat, coarse cut
1-cup tomato juice or V8
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced green pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1-teaspoon cumin ground
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Chile powder-you choose the heat level
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons dry red wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat tomato juice and pour over bulgur wheat and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes, or till wheat is soft. In a sauté pan heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic, sauté till soft. Add the carrots and celery and sauté 7 minutes till vegetables are tender. Add the peppers and sauté 5 minutes more. Now add the beans and all the spices. Taste and adjust for heat. Add the bulgur wheat and taste again. Serve hot topped with some chopped red onion and chopped raw tomato and some shredded cheddar cheese. This recipe serves 8-10 people.