Scene: a wintry, blistering cold Saturday evening, huddled inside our home sans plans (thanks, pandemic), with bellies rumbling for some warm, hearty food. Enter: this “throw all of the leftover veggies we have in the dutch oven with some tomato sauce and pray it tastes good” kind of chili. The actual intent for Saturday’s dinner this past weekend was to make my regular beef and bean chili, but since we’re planning on some ground beef meals this coming week, we opted for a vegetarian option minus the beef (although, I did use a cup of chicken bone broth, so it’s not REALLY vegetarian, but swap it for a cup of vegetable stock and it’s just as good!)Jump to Recipe
A few months ago, when I felt more comfortable going food shopping, I went to Trader Joe’s and this “Melodious Blend” of garbanzo beans, lentils, and tomatoes caught my eye. I snagged a bag, threw it into our freezer and literally forgot all about it. While playing with our son on the floor saturday afternoon, my husband and I were discussing dinner. Almost immediately, I remembered we had this in the freezer, along with an eggplant, half a sweet potato, amongst other veggies – the birth of this vegetarian chili was born.
I started by chopping a small eggplant into small cubes, the same with half the sweet potato, a few stalks of celery, added in the crushed tomatoes , a cup of bone broth, tomato paste, and the lentil/garbanzo mix. At first, I was quite concerned that we would need a back up dinner because it did not look appealing whatsoever. As the chili began to soften, and all the seasonings and vegetables married together, it quickly became a thick, hearty, and ridiculously yummy meal.Jump to Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Crushed tomatoes
- Bone broth or vegetable stock
- 1 bag Trader Joe’s Melodious Blend (garbanzo bean/lentil mix)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small eggplant, sliced then, and chopped into cubes
- 1/2 sweet potato, peeled, sliced thin, and chopped into cubes
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Avocado oil
- Chili powder
- Red pepper flakes
Start by adding the tablespoon of avocado oil to the stock pot or dutch oven. Slice the eggplant into thin circles, then dice into cubes. Peel the sweet potato and slice into rounds and then dice into cubes, then set aside. Add the minced garlic to the dutch oven and turn the stove to a medium flame. To the pan, add the eggplant and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Pour the crushed tomatoes, celery, sweet potato, and seasonings into the pot and stir to combine.
Add the vegetable stock and the Trader Joe’s lentil/garbanzo medley in and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper (you can be generous here), cover and lower the flame to a low/simmer. This will sit and simmer for approximately 2-2.5 hours. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice (like we did!), alone, or fancy it up with some cheddar cheese, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
When your fridge still has all your leftover vegetables, whip up this deliciously warming and cozy vegetarian chili. Crushed tomatoes, stock, eggplant, sweet potato, and a blend of garbanzo beans and lentils make up this hearty dish, perfect for any night of the week (and leftovers, too!).
- 1 jar crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 pkg Trader Joe's Melodious Blend
- 2 large celery stalks diced thin
- 1 small eggplant sliced, then diced into cubes
- 1/2 sweet potato peeled; sliced, then diced into cubes
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Start by adding the tablespoon of avocado oil to the stock pot or dutch oven.
Slice the eggplant into thin circles and then dice into cubes. Peel the sweet potato and slice into rounds, and then dice into cubes; set aside.
Add the minced garlic to the dutch oven and turn the stove to a medium flame. Add the eggplant a sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
Pour the crushed tomatoes, celery, sweet potato, and seasonings into the pot and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock and the Trader Joe's lentil/garbanzo medley in and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Season with salt and pepper (you can be generous here), cover and lower the flame to a low/simmer. This will sit and simmer for approximately 2-2.5 hours. Serve immediately.