So it’s Veteran’s Day and I’m the only one in my family with a day off. When I first realized this a few weeks ago, immediately all the “just me” things I could do ran through my head. Massage! Pedicure! Reading! Sleeping in! And then reality set in.   I’m a mom. I have stuff to do.

So I managed to fill my entire day with that stuff. Laundry done? Check. Bedroom clean? Yup. Dentist appointment for Z? Sure. Wait for cable guy? As we speak. I’ll be the first one to tell any mom that she needs to take time out for herself and make “me” a priority. You know the analogy of putting your oxygen mask on first? I whole heartedly agree with that. But today just isn’t that day.

So as I wait for the cable guy who could show up at any minute and disconnect my internet for a while, I’ll share my afternoon project with you: I’m whipping up some veggie chili.

How I wish I was spending my day off...

How I wish I was spending my day off…

I never get to cook decent meals during the week. Traffic keeps me from getting home at a reasonable enough hour to be the domestic goddess I yearn to be (HA!). Since I have the day off today, I thought I’d take advantage of it and provide my family with something tasty and that actually has vegetables in it. I know, right? Crazy that a bunch of vegetarians are actually going to eat vegetables tonight.

Personally, I hate to cook. But I love the end result:  hot meal and the adoration of my family. This recipe is an easy-ish one that a friend from work gave me. I made some changes to suit our tastes and my skill level.  For years, my husband was the chili master in our house.  Then he tasted this recipe and handed over the ladle.  Yay me!  Hope you like it!

Vegetarian Chili


  • 3 Carrots sliced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh butternut squash
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Vidalia onion diced
  • 1 Large Red Pepper diced or cut into strips
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper diced or cut into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic minced- I use the jarred kind. Shortcut!
  • 2 Large Zucchini chopped
  • 1 Summer Squash chopped
  • 1 package of soy crumbles- I use Litelife Smart Ground **
  • 2 TBSP Cumin
  • 2 cans of light red low salt kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 jars of Bertolli Tomato and Basil Pasta sauce
  • 1 large can of Tomato Puree (No Salt Preferred)
  • 1 can of Diced Tomato (No Salt Added)
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Turmeric
  • 1 TSP Rosemary
  • 1 package Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 2 or 3 stalks of fresh kale leaves (not spine), torn into small pieces

Optional ingredients:

  • Cubes of Pepper Jack Cheese or Cheddar Cheese-because cheese is awesome.
  • Sour Cream-for garnish
  • Tortilla Chips-for the hell of it

In a small boiling pan – Cut the carrots and butternut squash into small bite size pieces

In a side pan, add water and boil the cut up carrots and butternut squash for 10 minutes until soft.

Put to the side.

In a LARGE non-stick skillet:

Sautee the onions, pepper and garlic in the olive oil

Add the Zucchini and Summer Squash

Let simmer on medium heat

Add the Crumbles and also add 2 tablespoons of cumin

Transfer the carrots and squash to skillet

Add the 2 cans of light beans, with liquid and the third can of dark beans without the liquid

Add the Tomato Sauce, Tomato Puree and Diced Tomato

Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder

Add a teaspoon each of turmeric and rosemary

Transfer to a LARGE CHILI POT- and I mean LARGE!

Add the Chili Seasoning Package.

Take two large stalks of fresh Kale and rip the leaves off the spine into very little pieces dropping them into the chili

Stir and simmer for about an hour, stirring once in a while to save the bottom of your pot.

**For all you carnivores out there, while I don’t condone it, you can totally use real browned ground beef in this instead of the soy crumbles (make sure you brown it first). Or live on the edge and keep it vegified.

There you go! Hope your day off, if you had it, was relaxing. And if you didn’t have the day off, well, there are only 16 days until Thanksgiving and 44 left until Christmas. That just made it worse, didn’t it?