You may have noticed a bit of a theme here at JustineCelina this month — between our September Digital Blooms, my summer-meets-fall style content and our introduction to Autumn flowers I’ve been embracing the summer-to-fall transition in full force! This year, I’m definitely ready for the seasonal changes that September brings, not to mention the plethora of delicious foods that accompany it! And what better way to celebrate autumn’s arrival tomorrow than with a festive chili recipe that combines the best of both seasons?
My colourful Indian Summer Vegan Chili is inspired by the fleeting, transitional month of September when we’re able to enjoy the abundance of both summer and fall in our kitchens and on our tables. The recipe incorporates summer tomatoes and corn with autumn squash, carrots and peppers along with an array of complimentary vegetables, spices and seasonings. It’s a sweet and spicy, comforting dish brimming with clean, plant-based protein — and it’s approved by meat eaters, plant eaters and vegans alike. I hope it inspires you to explore your local farmers markets and bring September’s bounty home with you this autumn!
INDIAN SUMMER VEGAN CHILI
With the Autumnal Equinox officially ringing in the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere on September 22, I thought it was a perfect time to share my Indian Summer Vegan Chili recipe! I’ve been taking advantage of the gorgeous Calgary weather we’ve been experiencing lately and visiting our local farmers markets on weekends. One of my favourites is the Millarville Market about 30 minutes south of the city (did you catch my last trip over on Instagram Stories)? It’s an outdoor market with 100’s of vendors, happy people and delicious eats, plus the drive is absolutely gorgeous. I’m always in awe of the plethora of ingredients available at this time of year — it’s truly when I feel most inspired in the kitchen. Plus, the experience of buying your food directly from the people who grow it is nothing short of amazing and something I feel very fortunate to be able to do.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing my Indian Summer Vegan Chili recipe in partnership with HomeSense. If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a huge HomeSense fan (addict?) — it’s my favourite place to shop for unique entertaining essentials, styling props and home decor. But what I haven’t mentioned is that I also shop for food items at HomeSense! You’re probably familiar with the dangerous (but delicious) goodies stocked along the checkout aisle (small-batch popcorn and gourmet dark chocolate that I’m definitely going to devour in the car on the way home? Yes please!), but what I enjoy most about HomeSense‘s gourmet food section is the more elusive items I’m able to find mixed in with high quality pantry staples. You never know what you might find and it’s a treasure trove of culinary inspiration for me, especially in regards to recipe development for JustineCelina!
I always pick up some pink Himalayan salt and Canadian maple syrup while I’m shopping, but I also love to browse the aisles for interesting spice blends, coconut sugars, syrups and fantastic cooking oils. HomeSense‘s gourmet food items are unique and gorgeously packaged — plus you can find them for a fraction of the cost that they would normally retail for (and you know I love a good deal!).
A few of the gourmet food items used in my Indian Summer Vegan Chili (which are currently available in store) include culinary staples like Pepper Creek Farms Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns, Pride of Szeged Garlic Powder and a deliciously fruity A L’Olivier Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I also used Pepper Creek Farm’s Tex Mex Seasoning and Pride of Szeged Hungarian Hot Paprika to inject a southwestern vibe with some spicy heat. Today I’m serving my chili on a bed of the Pereg Natural Foods Quinoa Vegetables to add a even more plant-based protein to this hearty vegan dish. All the HomeSense gourmet food items I featured in this recipe are vegan, free of dairy and gluten and made with high quality ingredients — check out their gourmet food section the next time you’re shopping and let me know what you discover to inspire you in the kitchen!
The best part about my Indian Summer Vegan Chili is that it’s a simple, one pot recipe that comes together from prep time to garnish in just under an hour. I’m all about good food fast and truly believe you can have the best of both worlds — I’m not one to be slaving over a hot stove for longer than necessary, regardless of the season! This summer-meets-fall chili is a nutritional powerhouse that combines a rainbow of fresh, farmers market vegetables including celery, carrots, onion, peppers, summer squash (I used pattypan and acorn varieties, but feel free to use whatever you like!), garden tomatoes, corn, black beans and green lentils. The result is a rich, comforting and colourful dish bursting with a medley of September’s finest flavours. I used my homemade canned tomatoes for the base of the sauce, but if you don’t have access to homemade canned tomatoes just use your favourite in-store variety without added sodium.
Pssst… I’m also sharing my vegan chili secret ingredient — a cinnamon stick, my friends! It may seem strange, but throwing a cinnamon stick to into the mix helps to enhance the sweetness of tomato based dishes and really unites the flavour profile of this festive Indian Summer Vegan Chili. I’m crazy about the medley of sweet, smoky, spicy and savoury in this dish! Plate it up on a bed of quinoa to soak in all that extra sauce and garnish with avocado, sliced peppers, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and to make these southwestern flavours sing!
Yield: 1 large pot
• 2 tbsp A L’Olivier Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 4 cloves garlic
• 3 celery ribs
• 3 carrots
• 1 yellow onion
• 3 cups of summer squash (I used pattypan and acorn varieties, but use whatever you like!)
• 2 peppers (I used orange and red)
• 8 cups of canned tomatoes
• 38 oz canned black beans (2 standard, 19 oz cans)
• 19 oz canned green lentils
• 2 ears of fresh corn
• 10 cherry tomatoes
• 5 – 20 turns each of Pepper Creek Farms Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns (adjust to your preference)
• 2 tbsp Pepper Creek Farm’s Tex Mex Seasoning
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1/4 cup chili powder
• 1 tbsp Pride of Szeged Garlic Powder
• 1 tbsp onion powder
• 1 tbsp Pride of Szeged Hungarian Hot Paprika (if you’re spice-sensitive, see notes)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 – 6 packages of Pereg Natural Foods Quinoa Vegetables (I like to make a big batch in advance for meal prep purposes)
• Sliced avocado
• Sliced hot peppers
• Fresh lime juice
• Corn tortilla chips
• Additional Pepper Creek Farm’s Tex Mex Seasoning
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
2. Prepare the chili vegetables for sautéing. Mince garlic and chop celery, carrots, onion, summer squash and peppers.
3. Add A L’Olivier Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the hot pot. Then add garlic, celery, carrots, onion, summer squash and peppers. Season liberally with Pepper Creek Farms Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns using the guidelines indicated above, adjusting to your preference.
4. Add 2 tbsp Pepper Creek Farm’s Tex Mex Seasoning to the vegetables and mix thoroughly to distribute. Sauté vegetables for 5 minutes create a well seasoned base for the chili.
5. Puree 8 cups of canned tomatoes in a Vitamix (or similar) and add to the pot, along with bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine.
6. Drain and rinse the black beans and lentils and add them to the pot, with chili powder, Pride of Szeged Garlic Powder, onion powder, Pride of Szeged Hungarian Hot Paprika and cumin. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.
7. Prepare Pereg Natural Foods Quinoa Vegetables according to the directions on the package. It takes 15 – 20 minutes to cook, so start it while the chili bubbles away and they’ll be ready at the same time.
8. After the chili has cooked for 20 minutes, reduce the burner to low heat.
9. Prepare the fresh corn by trimming it from the ears. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Add them to the pot to simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning as needed with Pepper Creek Farms Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns.
11. Plate the chili on a bed of quinoa and garnish with sliced avocado and hot peppers, corn tortilla chips, additional Tex Mex seasoning, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
12. Serve immediately and enjoy!
• This chili is quite thick right after it’s finished cooking, but it will thicken overnight. It’s best the next day and a few days after you make it! It also freezes and thaws well.
• Myself and my recipe testers found the level of spice to be comfortable, but if you’re spice-sensitive you can reduce the amount of Hot Paprika to 1 tsp.
MORE PLANT BASED AUTUMN RECIPE IDEAS
The wine glasses and coasters? They’re from HomeSense, of course! Tonight we’re drinking a red blend called Devil’s Chair from a small (but incredible) winery in Creston, BC called Skimmerhorn Vineyard. Devil’s Chair is heavier than I typically enjoy (look at that amazing, rich hue!) but it’s perfect with my Indian Summer Vegan Chili for the ultimate comfort pairing. Cheers to enjoying the best of both summer and autumn in your kitchen and on your table this September!
What are your farmer’s market favourites at this time of year? If you have any recommendations or requests for seasonal recipes please let me know! And if you try my Indian Summer Vegan Chili please report back. I love it when you make my recipes and send feedback or photos! You can tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, or use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations so I can find them. I also have a board on Pinterest for my recipes, if you’re looking for some more inspiration.
Disclaimer: Thank you to HomeSense for sponsoring this post. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support JustineCelina!