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Vegetarian While Bean Chile with Crispy Cilantro
  • 2 cans of white beans. I recommend Cannellini and/or Kidney Beans but you can use 2 of one kind of you prefer. This brand is very good, is vegan and gluten free.
  • 1 small red orange or yellow red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 3 fresh plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups veggie broth Zoup always the best!
For the crispy cilantro:
  • One bunch of cilantro not chopped!
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Add a bit of veggie broth to a large soup pot. Add onions, garlic and chopped peppers (bell and jalapeno), Saute for about ten minutes.
  2. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add broth and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and continue cooking on low for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the cilantro and continue to heat on low.
For the Crispy Cilantro:
  1. Using a small baking dish, spray pam cooking spray on the bottom of the dish. Add to the dish, 1/2 tsp of each of the following: Salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Place the uncut cilantro on top of the spice mix. Spray the top of the cilantro with cooking spray. Cook in the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes. Watch constantly once the two minute mark passes – somewhere between 2:30 and 3 it will start to burn (not sure how hot your oven is, so you NEED to watch). You want it to just start to look like it is getting toasty on the tips of the cilantro. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Mix the cilantro with the spice mix on the bottom of the dish. One reason you do not want to add the spices to the top of the cilantro – it weighs the cilantro down and it will not crisp up. Trust me, I have burned more than my share testing this out!
  2. Ladle chili into serving bowls and top with tons of crispy cilantro. You can garnish with cheese or sour cream, green onions, or avocado.
**Chicken Option:
  1. To a small baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, add four thawed boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Add the same spice mixture above to the top of the cooked thighs in the same dish. Top with the cilantro bunch, spray with cooking spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and shred the chicken. Top chili with the shredded chicken and crispy cilantro.
  2. I always add a bit of fresh un-crispy cilantro to my chili as a garnish.