Vegetarian Chili

Kidney beans are packed with benefits for a healthy heart. Soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels; B-complex vitamins to help your body create new red blood cells; and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation, which can damage blood vessels. That’s why this recipe is a double feature for anyone looking to boost heart health during National Heart Month. Not only does the recipe offer a spicy chili starring the wholesome legume, but look no further than the first two steps for a how-to in flavoring the heart-healthy bean for any dish.

Vegetarian Chili
(Makes 4 servings)

vegetarian chili, cilantro, and tortilla chips
Photo from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Soaking time 24 hours (see tip 1)
Preparation time 50 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours


Beans (see tip 1)



  1. In bowl, cover dried beans with at least 4 inches of cold water. Cover and let soak for 24 hours. Drain beans and transfer to large pot.
  2. Add carrot, ½ onion, garlic, bouquet garni, and water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until beans are almost tender, about 50 minutes. Drain well. Discard carrot, onion, garlic, and bouquet garni.
  3. In pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper, garlic, chile peppers, and cumin, and cook, stirring, until peppers are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, vegetable stock, and beans. Add enough reserved tomato juice to thin, as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro to taste, cover and simmer until beans are tender and flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges to squeeze overtop.

Tip 1:

In place of dried beans, you can use two 14- to 19-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed, and skip Steps 1 and 2.

Tip 2:

Bouquet garni is a small bundle of herbs tied together with kitchen string. It is used to add flavor to a simmere or boiled mixture and is generally discarded before the dish is served. Often includes parsley, thyme, and bay leaves but can also include any of your favorite herbs that complement the flavors of your dish.

Cover for The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook.

Recipe from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Picnic Picks

Three picnic pleasers that won’t spoil the fun (or your summer diet)!



(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Pack up some lettuce wraps or pita bread and hummus and scoop on the tabbouleh. This traditionally Middle Eastern dish is becoming a popular American picnic treat.

Place bulgur in bowl. Heat water in microwave until hot, but not boiling, about 1½ minutes. Carefully pour hot water over bulgur. Cover bowl
with plastic wrap and let stand, about 45 minutes. In separate bowl, combine all vegetables and seasonings. When bulgur is done soaking, drain in strainer, pressing with spoon to squeeze out water. Add bulgur and lemon juice to vegetables and mix. Drizzle with olive oil just before serving.

Macaroni Salad
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Try swapping the mayo in your favorite salads—potato, egg, chicken, tuna, ham, pasta—with vegan mayonnaise. The dairy-free product is generally made with soy milk, vegetable oil, and lemon juice and contains no cholesterol. Try this lips-MAC ‘n salad at your next summer cookout.

Cook pasta according to directions. Rinse, drain, and set aside. In large bowl, whisk mayo, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper (to taste). Add celery, carrot, onion, and olives to mixture. Stir in the macaroni, cover, and chill for for 24 hours.

Mayo-Free Potato Salad
(Makes 4 servings)

No mayo and no mustard? You’ve got to try it to believe in this delicious new take on taters.

Place potato chunks in medium pot. Fill with cold water and bring to boil. Add salt and cook potatoes until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and return to warm pot to dry.

Add the broth, olives, red bell pepper, celery, onion, relish, lemon zest and juice, red wine vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.