I confess: I was originally going to blog the vegetarian chili recipe from the January 2011 issue of Real Simple just as it was, linking to it instead of writing my own version. Because when I made it, I was duly impressed. I couldn’t think of a single thing I’d want to change.
Then I read the comments on the recipe’s web page, and was deeply chagrined.
Clearly, I was not a chili sophisticate. The very first commenter, marsha1101, wrote of the recipe, “this looks so good. I made it and it was very bland. There are so many great chili recipes out there…don’t make this one. yuck” [sic]
The rest of the comments were much more complimentary, though, so I felt vindicated. Until I realized that with one exception, everyone had modified the recipe before posting their approbatory comments.
Alrighty then. I tasted the chili again, closed my eyes, and thought hard. (Whew.) That was when it hit me: while it had good bones, the “chili” tasted more like a stew. It needed more piquant pepper bite, a touch of heat, a pinch of sugar (okay, and a little fat) to bring out its quintessential chili-ness. So I gave this recipe my own twist, and found the end result to be much more flavorful and chili-like than the original.
So thank you, critical Real Simple website commenter marsha1101, for nudging me towards chili greatness. I salute you!
This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but all you have to do is chuck them in a slow cooker and turn it on, so it couldn’t be simpler. Throw it together when you wake up on a weekend morning and have it for lunch (or dinner, depending on when you drag it out of bed). What’s more, if you eat a hearty helping, you’ve handily had your three servings of veggies for the day. How easy is that?
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced