Help me recreate this dish!
October 17, 2012 2:33 PM   Subscribe

At a restaurant I had an amazing dish with the following description, "vegetarian black bean chili, seasoned rice and steamed vegetables." It was spicy and I loved it, but couldn't describe it beyond being traditional American, perhaps a bit with a Mexican flavor. This seems like a really simple dish, any ideas of dishes like it or how to recreate it?
posted by geoff. to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There are plenty of recipes for vegetarian black bean chili available online (Google results). The rice may have been Spanish rice, given that you've hinted at some possible Mexican flavour.

As for the vegetables. Well, steamed veggies are steamed veggies. Presumably you are able to tell what vegetables they used and pick some up to steam at home.
posted by asnider at 2:39 PM on October 17, 2012

Here's a pretty simple black bean vegetarian chili.

The base flavors that every chili recipe tends to have are cumin, oregano, onion, tomato, and chili powder.

But there are a million ways to make chili. A more authentic Mexican version might use dried and or smoked chili peppers instead of the powder, or add some epazote. Some people might use a bay leaf, some might add tons of garlic or some cayenne, some might use tomato paste and others chopped tomatoes. If you're going for something exactly like what you had you might need to experiment.

Or just call up the restaurant and ask, a lot of them will have no problem telling you.
posted by Diablevert at 2:43 PM on October 17, 2012

My favorite black bean chili recipe is from Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2012

It lacks the rice and veg, but this vegetarian chili from 101 Cookbooks is the best ever. It's incredibly rich and flavorful, and even the texture is exactly right thanks, I think, to the bulgur wheat. I can't recommend it enough if you want a vegetarian chili.
posted by gilrain at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2012

This is a pretty wonderful recipe:


2 onions,chopped
1 cup celery,chopped
8 garlic cloves, pressed
2 6-ounce can unsalted tomato paste
2 14 1/2-ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons salt free chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups water or unsalted veggie broth
10 cups unsalted cooked black beans
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
2/3 cup raw pecans
2/3 cup soft tofu
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice
Optional: 1 lb bag frozen kale


Water saute (or use no salt veggie broth) onions, celery and garlic until softened. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and water (or veggie broth). Mix well, cover and cook until veggies are done to your liking (30-45 minutes). Optional step: Add in the frozen kale while the chili is cooking.

Prepare pesto (see below) while waiting for veggies to cook. When veggies are done, add black beans and let simmer for 15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

To prepare Cilantro Pesto- Place cilantro, pecans, tofu, lemon juice and sweetener in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, scraping down sides of container as necessary.

To serve- fill bowls with chili and place a dollop of pesto on each serving, mix in. This is also great poured over a baked potato. Or over rice.
posted by bearwife at 4:31 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you know which restaurant it is, why not contact them and see if you can get the recipe? Not every chef will be willing, and the recipe might not scale to home cooking, but it's worth a shot. Sometimes newspapers or cooking magazines will do a series where they publish restaurant recipes for home cooks, and they may be able to get it if asking directly doesn't work.
posted by zachlipton at 5:24 PM on October 17, 2012

Let's not forget the vegetables. Don't steam them to death. Squeeze on lime or lemon juice before salting (don't avoid the salt entirely!). Were the vegetables seasoned with herbs at all? A little bit of garlic powder and a little bit of black pepper can really help. A small splash of olive oil if you want.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:49 PM on October 17, 2012

I'm betting it was the flavoured rice, rather than particularly amazing chilli, that made this dish distinctive.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:47 PM on October 17, 2012

I don't really understand this question. As you were the one who ate it, why not tell us what vegetables there were, the ingredients in the chili and what the rice was seasoned with? Otherwise we'll just be randomly guessing.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:02 AM on October 18, 2012

I find that vegetarian chili is often lacking. Maybe it's not usually spiced as well? I've found that Trader Joe's makes a vegetarian chorizo that is AWESOME. It is a little hot, very well spiced, and comes in the refrigerator section near the cheese and hummus.

An awesome veggie chili can be made in about 15 minutes by sauteing onions in a pan, tossing in some chili spices, can of diced tomatoes, veggie chorizo, and black beans and/or kidney beans and/or corn or other veggies of choice.
posted by forkisbetter at 10:43 AM on October 18, 2012

Another thing that really helps this kind of soup is using vegetable or chicken stock rather than water. If you're making it at home use those for a big flavor upgrade. Do remove some salt elsewhere in the recipe if you're using store-bought stock.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2012

« Older Polycystic ovaries that are not pathological......   |   Would crazy glue work? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.