Chili Contest: Entry #5 – Vegetarian Chili with Peanut Butter

The Illini have a bye-week and I am headed to San Fran this morning for the Foodbuzz Festival! I’m very excited to meet some of my favorite bloggers and have a weekend packed with tons of wonderful food! Bonus for not missing (another) Illini game due to work or travel!

But before I left, I wanted to share the recipe we tried for last week’s Illini game. Well, technically, not for the game…but that was the intention (we filled up on appetizers on accident so we post-poned the chili a day) 🙂 One of our guests last weekend follows a vegetarian diet, so I knew I had to save the vegetarian entries for their visit.

As this chili was simmering away, someone asked, “What smells like peanut butter?” When I replied, “The chili” the room went silent with darting “OH NO” eyes. We decided at that point to come up with a plan B for dinner…just in case.

I tasted the chili first. And I liked it. But I’m pretty easy to please. The following three judges (Mr. Prevention and our friends), much to everyone’s surprise, also enjoyed the chili! It was most certainly unique, but most importantly…it worked. The flavors melded well and the spiciness of the chili is what I loved most…very strong at first, but didn’t linger.

And the the nutrition stats. While sodium is always a struggle with canned vegetables, broths, etc. this chili packs less than 400 calories and nearly 14 grams of fiber! That is some serious bean action…that we loved!

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Vegetarian Chili with Peanut Butter adapted from Serious Eats, as seen on and submitted by Branny Boils Over

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes, no added salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 (15-oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz) can whole sweet corn, rinsed and drained

Directions:

In large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes

Add crushed tomatoes, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 5 minutes and then add vegetable stock and peanut butter. Stir until well incorporated. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add all beans and corn. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese. Yield: 8 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 368 calories; 12.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 947 mg. sodium; 48 g. carbohydrate; 13.9 g. fiber; 19.4 g. protein

Result: A surprise victory! This worked…it just did. It you love peanut butter and beans, chances are this chili is your match. It’s also the first vegetarian recipe I’ve made this season and it was most certainly a welcomed change from the traditional chilis week after week. This was flavorful, thick, spicy, and very healthy (albeit a tad high in sodium). Enjoy!

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I will miss my baby girl this weekend (I have been told there will be a daddy-daughter weekend with fun activities such as the dog park), but I haven’t been this excited in a long time! Now, I just have to be productive during the flights and catch-up with grading…

Question: How do you feel about the idea of peanut butter in chili?

See you in Cali! TGIF!!

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16 Comments

  1. November 4, 2011 / 6:32 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, it is a crazy combination, but oh so wonderful. Have fun at FoodBuzz!

  2. November 4, 2011 / 6:47 am

    I LOVE THE IDEA! Seriously?! I mean, why didn’t I think of this one?! I think it sounds awesome!!!
    Have a blast in San Francisco! I’m super jealous. I’ll be working..with an intern (I’m a preceptor this week). Not so fun. I want another vacation 🙂

  3. November 4, 2011 / 7:08 am

    Hmmm… I’m not sure how I feel about it…? I mean, I like chili. I like peanut butter. I’m just not sure about the two together?

    Is it sort of the same concept of peanut sauce with the sweet and spicy combo? Sorta?

    Have a great time at FoodBuzz! I’m sure you’ll meet some awesome girls!!!

  4. November 4, 2011 / 8:37 am

    I am so jealous you are going to food buzz festival!! Have a ton of fun! Not sure about the peanut butter though!

  5. November 4, 2011 / 8:50 am

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE the idea of peanut butter in chili! (Although, that’s a pretty much universal love 😉 ). I’ve tossed a little PB into stir-fries and rice dishes and it has rocked pretty much every time. I think many dishes that could incorporate nuts would work well with PB, especially if it could benefit from that creaminess. Love that fiber-action, too! 🙂

    Have a great time at the FoodBuzz Festival! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  6. November 4, 2011 / 10:04 am

    So interesting. I bet the peanut butter adds a nice creaminess and natural thickener to the chili. I’ll have to try that sometime! Have fun at the FoodBuzz…and in San Fran!!

  7. November 4, 2011 / 10:09 am

    How fun that you’re going to the food buzz festival! Enjoy!

    PB in chili…um….maybe.

  8. November 4, 2011 / 12:33 pm

    I have a recipe somewhere for peanut butter chili that I’ve been wanting to make forever. I think it sounds amazing.

  9. November 4, 2011 / 1:03 pm

    I pretty much like peanut butter in everything, so this definitely sounds good to me. Have fun at Foodbuzz!

  10. November 4, 2011 / 2:11 pm

    This sounds so different from any other chili I have ever had before! I can not wait to give it a try!!

  11. November 4, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    Sometimes the strangest combinations just work.
    I am a lover of both peanut butter and beans so I am pretty sure I’d love this!

  12. November 5, 2011 / 10:05 am

    I’m loving the idea of peanut butter chili! I think I might try it with peanut flour (PB2) just to get that hint of peanut butter flavor but with less cals/fat… not that 400 per serving is too high but if it were lower I could think of something creative to pair with it… I am definitely thinking about this one!

  13. November 5, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    Have fun at Foodbuzz Nicole. Look forward to reading all about it. (and peanut butter in chili? Bring it on!)

  14. November 5, 2011 / 9:35 pm

    I’m not surprised that it tasted good – pretty sure peanut butter goes with almost everything 😉

  15. November 6, 2011 / 12:51 pm

    Sure! I’ve stirred a bit of PB or almond butter in stews, soups, chilis. It adds another layer of flavor and also helps thicken. I’m sure this was good!

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