Thoughts on autumn + slow cooker vegan chili

The past couple mornings I've awoken to weather that one might justifiably call crisp.  While it's not technically fall just yet, I revel in this transitional time of year: when the mornings turn cooler, the leaves begin to take on lovely golden hues, and the idea of autumn seems to linger in the air.  Although the air turns brisk and the days shorten in length, there is something so undeniably warm about these months.

Fragrant pumpkin pies fresh out of the oven
Warming chilly hands on steaming mugs of chai
Perusing the bountiful harvest at local farmers' markets
Cozy cable-knit blankets, slippers, sweaters, and scarves 
Baked sweet potatoes and butternut squash, flavored with pinches of of cinnamon and tiny pools of maple syrup Apple-picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and local fall festivals
Cool nights on the balcony, laughing with friends over hot mulled cider

I've bookmarked Caiti's tips for savoring the season, and have found myself particularly inspired by her suggestion to "add some cozy meals to your dinner repertoire."  As Caiti notes, cooler weather signals that it's time to break out the slow cooker, and yesterday, I happily found myself in possession of the ingredients for a slow cooker vegan chili.

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili
28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I use the organic Muir Glen brand)
14.5-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles (again, I use Muir Glen) 
15-oz can navy beans (for beans, I like the Eden brand)
15-oz can kidney beans
1/2 cup water or organic veggie broth (the addition of water or broth will allow some liquid to evaporate during the cooking process without drying out your chili)
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large white or yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Olive oil, to sautée garlic, onion, and green pepper
Handful of fresh cilantro, for garnish

Sautée garlic, onion, and green pepper in olive oil until just translucent.  Combine garlic, onion, and green pepper with all other ingredients in slow cooker and stir.  (I should note that this recipe fits easily into our 6-quart slow cooker, but you may need to modify if you're using a much smaller one.)  Cook on high for at least 4 hours; your house will smell absolutely divine.  Serve with a garnish of fresh cilantro, plus chopped scallion and avocado if you so desire.  


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention :)

And this chili recipe looks great! I'll have to give it a try soon. I'm all about the veggie/vegan comfort food lately. This week I made a vegan portobello pot pie (from La Dolce Vegan cookbook) and it was soooo delicious, savory and comforting. My meat-eater hubby raved endlessly about it.

Kristine said...

I am looking forward to soup & sweater weather. :)

lynette said...

Oh thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try this. I'm searching for cozy new recipes.

Mikaiya said...

Thanks for sharing! I made this Monday and it was roundly enjoyed by everyone in the house- although as always my husband needed cheese on top. I cooked it on low for about 8 hours (and it stayed on warm for another 2 or so) and it was still bubbly and lovely. I did add about a cup of water, however, instead of the half cup of broth, since I knew my day would go long.

Wanted to comment because I'm Ilse's former co-worker, and have been following your blog for a bit.

Anonymous said...

That looks very yummy!!


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