Hearty Veggie Chili

Chili collageThis recipe was most definitely inspired by Dinner with Julie’s Really Good Veggie Chili. One look at that recipe, and I knew what I was having for dinner. Given the recent cold snap reminding us Calgarians that it is in fact still winter here, I thought it would be a great time to share this delicious meal with you! This recipe is also a good reminder that you don’t necessarily need to include meat to create something hearty and filling for your family.

Market Sourced Ingredients

Other Ingredients

  • oil, for cooking
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 2 cans of beans, your choice – chickpeas, black, kidney etc. (*I ended up using dried beans from my garden, topped up with some chickpeas and black beans that I had on hand)
  • 2 cans diced or whole tomatoes (*I used one liter of my own canned whole yellow tomatoes – get the recipe here)

If using dried beans, make sure to soak them and cook them before making this recipe. (If using canned beans, this step will go a lot faster – simply drain and rinse before adding to the pot).

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First, preheat the oven to 425 F. Peel and chop the sweet potato, toss in cooking oil, salt and pepper, then spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once they are golden and delicious looking, they are ready. Remove from oven and set aside.

Chop the onions, peppers and mince the garlic. On the stove top, heat a fair sized pot and sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Chop up the cilantro stems, and half the leaves and add them to the mixture. Add in the spices (cumin, chili powder, cinnamon). Cook a few minutes longer.

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Next, chop up the tomatoes if needed, and add them along with the beans into the pot, throw in the roasted sweet potatoes, and bring the whole thing to a simmer for about 45 minutes. And that’s it!

To serve, sprinkle some crumbled feta on top with some fresh cilantro leaves. This recipe can serve a crowd, or in my case, it can feed 2 people for a few days. It was definitely a time saver during a busy (and cold!) week.

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You can find the ingredients for this recipe and more on your next trip to the Calgary Farmers’ Market!

Kale and White Bean Stew

If you’re like most Calgarians, you rejoiced as the sun came out and the thermometer broke double digits. You pulled out your summer gear, came up with a get-bikini-ready routine, you may have even started dreaming of what you’ll plant in your garden.  We’ve all made that mistake.  It really is a foolish one; we ought to know better.  Can we complain that it’s the beginning of April and there’s a fresh layer of snow on the ground?  We could, but there isn’t much use.

Spring will come when it darn well pleases.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be miserable about it.  There are still great things to be whipped up in the kitchen; things that actually do best in cooler climates.  Like kale!  And stew is one heckuva way to keep toasty; it can take as little or as long as you like.  This is the traditional, let the stew simmer method, but we’ll give you the quick tips too.

Kale 1

Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 package Spanish Chorizo from Spragg’s Meat Shop

1-2 bunches fresh Organic Black Kale, 1 large sweet onion, 6 cloves garlic from Souto Farms

1 bag of tomatoes from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 jar Stamp’s Great Northern Beans from Innisfail Growers

Olive Oil from La Cucina

Salt & Pepper

Turbinado Sugar

*You can substitute brown sugar, but turbinado sugar is generally less refined and can be purchased from your neighbourhood grocery store. Try to find a raw sugar that suits your taste buds.

Kale 3

First thing’s first, you need to soak the beans in water for 24 hours.

Then, cut the tomatoes into halves, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Grill them either in a pan, or when the blessed sun decides to show itself, enjoy grilling them on the BBQ.  Grilling the tomatoes will do a couple of things: enhance the sweetness of the tomato and add a slightly charred flavour.  Plus, removing the skins will be much easier, if that’s what you choose to do.

Kale Collage 2

Then, with a little olive oil in a dutch oven (or good ol’ pot), sauté the onions and garlic until slightly golden.  Add the Spanish Chorizo and break into smaller pieces.

Stir in the tomatoes and one cup of water.  *You can use stock of any kind, though chicken or veggie stock is best.  You can even use a good glug of wine at this point if your heart desires.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  If you want to kick up the heat, add 1 tablespoon of Ancho chili powder from The Silk Road Spice Merchant.

Kale FB Collage 2

Add the beans and another 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and let stew until beans are soft.  Approximately one hour; add water or stock as needed.  *This is where you can decide if you want a slow stew or a fast.  If you want to soften the beans before adding them to the stew, boil them in water until soft.  If you’re in a pinch for time, use canned cannelini beans in place of the dried beans.

When the beans have sucked up most of the stock and have become nearly soft, add the kale that you’ve cut into half inch wide ribbons and simmer for another fifteen minutes, or until tender.  Tip: try to cut the kale into even strips so that each bite will include tender greens instead of a mishmash of soft and chewy kale.  And it looks pretty.

If you like your stew a little on the thicker side, mash some of the beans with a fork.  Otherwise, serve with a toasted slice of artisan bread.  Don’t forget the butter.  Never forget the butter.

Kale 5