According to the calendar summer will not end until September 22 this year. According to me, it’s over. I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer but for me summer starts with Memorial Day in May and ends when school begins or with Labor Day which is this weekend. It’s not a bad thing, just a prompt to turn attentions towards fall.
Though we are still having temperatures in the 90’s, I’m noting random trees which have already begun to parade the gorgeous gold and flaming red leaves of fall. The angle of the sun in the sky is changing ever so slightly letting us know the slower pace of the cool months is coming. And of course there is football. Football is fall for me. It’s not that I’m a rabid fan but it does bear the signature of a season or holiday. People have their own rituals built around watching games, whether live or on TV.
There is a whole genre of food that everyone knows is ‘football food’. Just as you’d have eggnog for the December holidays, and pumpkin for Thanksgiving, slow cookers brimming with savory delights will be on plan for this weekend and every Monday night this fall. Cheesy foods like nachos, hearty chili’s, grilled burgers and sliders, brats, ribs, hot wings, pizza are the all-stars of the tailgate party and rowdy game-watcher gatherings all over the U.S.
Boulder Locavore partner, Silk, has challenged us to remake a Monday Night Football classic dish meat-free and dairy-free. The task might strike fear in the hearts of some but here’s a secret: great football food is not about the meat as it might appear from the food list, it’s about the flavor. Hearty, well-developed flavors in foods that stick to the ribs and warm the senses is what we aim for.
Chili is synonymous with football food for me and I love anything I can make in my slow cooker so I’m doting on my friends and family, not food prep. I’ve combined another cold weather football favorite, Baked Beans, with chili familiars of black beans, diced tomatoes, sultry spices and vegetables to make a chunky, sweet-spicy, tangy chili that is vegetarian and one where the meat (and dairy) won’t be missed. An addition of a ‘secret ingredient’, some Silk unsweetened coconut milk, further enhances the flavor without taking over the well-loved flavors we crave in chili. Miss the meat? Not with this chili, you won’t!
For more inspired mouthwatering recipes to ‘sideline meat’ this football season AND a chance to win a giveaway, visit Silk!
There is nothing better to warm the soul and celebrate football season than chili. This slow cooker chili combines the familiar sultry flavors but also the sweet tanginess of baked beans bringing the flavor to a whole new level!
Sauteing the vegetables takes an extra few minutes but I find it goes a long way to develop the flavors and cut the sharpness of un-sauteed onions. If you are in a time bind, you can skip this step and add the vegetables to the slow cooker directly.
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 medium Red Sweet Pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 medium Yellow Sweet Pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 medium Celery Stalk, scrubbed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 large Carrot, scrubbed or peeled with top and end removed, sliced in ¼ inch thick slices
- 1 28-ounce can Vegetarian Baked Beans with liquid
- 1 28-ounce can Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 1 15-ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce can Corn Kernels (frozen/thawed or fresh kernels may be substituted)
- ¾ cups Unsweetened Silk Coconut Milk
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Suggested Garnishes: lime zest, chopped Italian parsley leaves (fresh); if able to eat dairy, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, grated cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers on top. Add the onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers, celery, cumin and chili powder. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for an additional 3 minutes. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the bottom of a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Place the lid on the cooker and cook on HIGH for 7 hours. Serve or store sealed in the refrigerator until using (can be made 1-2 days beforehand to allow the flavors to blend).
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.