This one-pot vegetarian chili starts with canned tomatoes and takes its cue from Italian ingredients. Portobello mushrooms provide the "meat" in this stew, but button mushrooms also will work.
If you want real meat in the mix, pan-fry cubes of Italian sausage and add them to the chili.
Onions are fairly interchangeable. If you don't have green onions, for instance, substitute an identical amount of whatever type you have on hand.
To quickly separate the peel from a garlic clove, trim the ends and place the flat side of a chef's knife on the clove, then give it a quick hit.
When chopping ingredients for the chili, chop extra onions, parsley or cheese and refrigerate for your salad.
'Meaty' Italian Mushroom Chili
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: about 18 minutes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 green onions, white and some green parts, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
1 teaspoon each: crushed dried fennel, salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chianti or other red wine
3 portobello mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with juices
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
shredded parmesan cheese, chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, chili powder, Italian herb mix, fennel, salt, red pepper and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced somewhat, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cheese and parsley, if desired.
Per serving: 201 calories; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 35 grams carbohydrate; 9 grams protein; 974 milligrams sodium; 11 grams fiber - Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper
'Meaty' Italian mushroom chili
Biscotti and grapes