Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatless Monday--Fabulous Five Bean Vegetarian Chili

I recently had the opportunity to appear on a local home and living show, Charlotte Today, to make my five bean vegetarian chili.  ACK!  My nerves were rampant, my brain a frenzied mass of details, and trying to figure out what to wear made me break out into a cold sweat!  But I was also incredibly excited and humbled that this was chosen to share with their audience.  While it's not the most intricate recipe I cook, this chili is easy, economical, and filling.

The link from my segment & pictures from the experience:

The kitchen
Producer Bob looks inside the empty fridge
This mirror is in the rafters to show what's going on below

Entrance to the station
The set

This recipe came from a desire to provide a healthier alternative than my family's favorite "typical" chili which included tons of beef and tons of sodium.  Strict vegetarians we are not, but there are ways I incorporate meatless meals into our diet that don't leave us feeling like we need to eat a sandwich afterwards.  There is a lot of buzz now about the unhealthiness of the American diet, and there are ways to add nutritious meals into your menu rotation without breaking the bank.  This recipe, minus the toppings, costs about $10 total (even less if the ingredients are on sale) and will feed a family of 8.  Add cornbread and your meal is complete.  I would like you to know that I have reduced the sodium content greatly, so you may notice a difference if you're a big fan of salt.
Once you add the toppings you won't miss it, I promise--and your heart will thank you! 

Side note:  The recommended daily allowance of sodium (RDA) is 2300mg, or about 1 teaspoon of salt per day.  That is not a lot, and considering how much hidden salt is in practically everything we consume I don't want to guess how much I ingest without even knowing it. 

You came for the recipe, so here it is! 

Some of the ingredients

Fabulous Five Bean Vegetarian Chili


1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained & rinsed

1 16 ounce can of dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed

1 16 ounce can of light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed

1 16 ounce can of vegetarian baked beans, excess liquid poured off

1 7 3/4 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

1 cup of frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 14.5 ounce cans of no salt added diced tomatoes

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Hunt's--some crushed tomatoes taste very acidic and this brand does well in this recipe)

1 1.25 ounce packet of low sodium chili seasoning

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a slow cooker, place lid on top.  Cook on high for at least 3 hours.

To serve: 
Top with light sour cream, shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips, and chopped green onions.  

*You can further reduce the sodium in this recipe by soaking your own beans.  Also, customize it to meet your preferences by adding sauteed chopped onions and garlic, or fresh herbs.  Have fun and be creative!


  1. Congrats Jennifer!!! Thats sounds so exciting!!! Thank you for sharing the pics! Please post a copy of your cooking segment when you get it! I'd love to see it! =)

  2. You were fantastic and I have also been on Charlotte Today and have gone thru the same round of nerves.Your recipe was great, hair and make-up perfect and you are a natural.But be honest Colleen,Tanner,Bob and BRittany make it like a Sunday at home.Bravo

    1. Anonymous, I wish I knew who you were because I think I love you! LOL, thanks so much for the kind words & encouragement. I'd love for them to have me back sometime in the future ; )

  3. Watched the segment on Charlotte Today. You did great and the recipe looks yummy! I may have a challenge ahead of me though trying to convince my carnivore husband to try it - lol. Beckie Green Bergeron (one of your fellow AR Ambassadors)


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