Smoky Vegetarian Chili and Rosarella Bread

I learned plenty yesterday from this lot right here. These six represent the two semi-finalist teams in the kids’ chili cook-off at the Stampede – I was lucky enough to act as judge yesterday. It was a tough decision.

I missed out on taking an actual photo of the food, being in my Official judge’s role and all, but it was mighty tasty – smoky and hot and loaded with beans – it always interests me, as a carnivore, how often the vegetarian version of a chili wins at a cook-off. (This isn’t the first I’ve judged.)

Although it was very tasty, the heat kind of leapt up and smacked us right in the tongue straight off the bat, so if you’re a wuss like me, consider dialing down the chipotles by about half. And I’d personally swap the green pepper for any other colour (red, yellow, orange), but that’s just me. (I don’t understand the point of a green pepper. Is all that bitterness worth the financial savings? I think not.) And of course all chilis taste better after a day or two in the fridge (or a long simmer in the slow cooker), so it’s great to make ahead and feed a crowd.

An important note: the winning team added a secret ingredient to the following recipe – chopped green onions. Yum.

Smoky Vegetarian Chili

1 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
3 cans (19 oz/540 mL each) mixed beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a Dutch oven, saute carrots, onion, bell peppers and garlic in oil until tender, about 7 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and chipotle peppers.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

And the bread. When I see the quantity of cheese and butter and garlic I understand why it blew me away. It’s exactly the sort of melty-cheesy, buttery, carb-heavy thing I would marry, if it were human.

Rosarella Bread

1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped bocconcini cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 loaf french bread, halved lengthwise

In a food processor, combine cheese, butter, rosemary, garlic, pepper and salt. Process until smooth. Wrap bread halves individually in heavy duty foil, leaving cut side open. Spread cheese mixture over cut side of bread halves.

Heat bread over low heat directly on grid or on warming rack on natural gas barbecue for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden around edges. Slice bread and serve.

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July 15 2010 10:37 pm | beans and vegetarian

33 Responses to “Smoky Vegetarian Chili and Rosarella Bread”

  1. Recipe for Delicious on 16 Jul 2010 at 5:38 am #

    What a fun day that must have been. Cutest secret ingredient too! I confess I’ve never thought about green peppers as lesser. I might have to go home and do a taste test to see if I’ve been eating the wrong pepper!

  2. Erica B. on 16 Jul 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Too cute! I think vege often wins because it relies on the flavours of all the ingredients and often tastes brighter (if that’s the right word)…more flavour comes through than with the meat-centric versions.

    I’m right there with you about green pepper – they often taste bitter, especially compared to the sweetness of their brighter cousins – that and my corn chowder would look rather odd with bits of green floating in it :)

  3. Lana in South Mountain (ON) on 16 Jul 2010 at 9:19 am #


  4. the other Al on 16 Jul 2010 at 9:45 am #

    you were at Stampede yesterday? Dang! We were there too(with 10 kids! 9-16) I would have loved to pop in and take in the judging. I never got out of the midway. Go figure. A

  5. Jan @ Family Bites on 16 Jul 2010 at 9:46 am #

    So cute! And that bread….I’m making it this weekend for a picnic…delish.

  6. Kathy on 16 Jul 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Totally with you on the green pepper..

  7. Sarah Anne on 16 Jul 2010 at 10:42 am #

    I COMPLETELY agree with you about green peppers! I never buy or use them!

  8. Fiona on 16 Jul 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    I love veggie chili, so I am definitely going to give this one a shot. Plus I have a container of chipotles in adobo sauce that I need to use somewhere, and someone in my household who thinks “burn-your-face-off hot” is how everything should taste.

    I don’t mind green pepper, but I think red, orange, and yellow often look better in a dish, in addition to tasting sweeter. Green sometimes start to look kind of muddy.

  9. Barb on 16 Jul 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    What great summer memories to add to the 2010 list!

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  11. Penny on 20 Jul 2010 at 10:31 am #

    This was absolutely delicious! I made this the other day during a family bbq and it was a hit! I did add a little extra something to the chili though – lentils! I added Tasty Bite’s Madras Lentils, which have this great smokiness to them already – the textures and flavors went wonderfully with the chili, and added an extra protein boost. My kids loved it and kept asking for more, so I’ll definitely be making this again. I recommend trying this as well as checking out the rest of Tasty Bite’s line, because they only take 90 seconds to make and are so healthy for you. Thanks for the delicious recipe and bon appetit!

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