Fresh Veggies

I get so excited when Summer comes around and we get to eat all of the season’s freshest veggies. But there is one dish that I truly miss – one that I have always considered a fall/winter dish.


Some of my fondest memories include corn bread and a bowl of chili. I’ve always just suffered through the summer without it, until today! I found this recipe on All Recipes…but I modified it just a little it. My modifications are in parentheses and italicized. You’ll also see my serving suggestions after the recipe and directions for cooking.

Summer Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients List:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion (which is actually about 1/2 of an onion)
5 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste (I didn’t use any)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups juicy chopped fresh tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained (I didn’t drain ours and I opted for organic)
1 cup water (or red wine) – (I used water)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color) – (my pepper was orange)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 1 medium to large zucchini, depending on how much you like them)
1 cup corn kernels (I used 2 ears of corn and roasted them at 450 for 20 minutes first)
1 cup chopped white or portobello mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, packed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional Garnishes:
reduced-fat cheddar cheese
fat-free sour cream
fresh cilantro

To Prepare:

1. Heat oil in medium pot. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Saute over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients (except garnishes) and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add more liquid if needed.
3. Serve alone or over rice (preferably brown). Garnish if desired with any of the following:

That is the recipe as you will find it on All Recipes. Here are my personal suggestions and serving ideas. As far as the garnish goes: I suggest using Fage Greek 2% Yogurt in place of sour cream…it’s much better for you and you’ll never notice the taste difference. We’re not using guacamole as a garnish. There are so many wonderful colors and flavors already in the chili, that I’m just offering a chopped avocado on top, a little bit of cilantro and salt & pepper.

Anyway, that is our lunch! We’ll be having the leftovers tonight, but I’ll serve it cold with a side of blue corn chips. Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy.