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Three Sisters Vegan Chili

October 4, 2010

This recipe is actually in honor of my students. Every year, I have my AP US students break into groups and act one key term from the first chapter of reading. Although the reading itself is long, the chapter is not particularly essential for the exam, so I take advantage of a light curriculum day to set a fun and creative mood for the year. One of the five terms, three sisters farming, has a particularly small amount of information. Three sisters farming is the basic concept that American Indians realized that beans, squash, and corn should be grown together because they create complimentary soil composition, irrigation, and growth pattern. Additionally, the three together helped the health of the tribes, and thus fertility. The students who get this group, usually go nuts. The funniest skits I have ever seen in my AP class are associated with this term. One year, three students wrapped themselves around each other, and then moved into a birthing scene straight from Hollywood (I found it particularly funny because I was secretly pregnant at the time). Loaded with purposeful corny puns, this year’s group anthropomorphized the veggies; they had a gossipy corn and beans making fun of squash. Moments like the three sisters skits remind me why I teach, love my school, and find teenagers to be hysterical.

Last weekend, the chilly Autumn finally found the D.C. area. In our household, chilly weather means chili season, and I thought about my student’s skit. They gave me inspiration to change up my chili. I have posted a thick bean chili before, but the chili we enjoyed tonight was thinned out with some broth and vegetables. There are a million and one ways to make chili, so I encourage you to play with your ingredients. Almost all vegetarian chili is also vegan, it is the garnishing which make the soup status change. I ended up adding my dairy, but I encourage vegans to make this recipe because it has a good variety of nutrients and is a hearty meal. For your next football Sunday, try your own chili cook-off.

Three Sisters Vegan Chili

  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup of onions diced
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of great northern beans
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can of organic corn
  • 1 cup of chopped zucchini (with the skin on)
  • 2 cups of veggie stock
  • 3 tb of chili powder
  • 2-3 tb of a mild hot sauce.
  1. Saute the garlic, onions, and carrots in olive oil for 5-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Rinse the beans…….…….. and corn in a colander, and mix with the zucchini
  3. Add the beans and veggies, as well as the tomatoes, veggie stock, chili powder, and hot sauce.
  4. Let chili simmer for at least an hour.
  5. If you would like to make this lacto-ovo vegetarian, add cheese and a dollup of sour cream. Ok, I got a little carried away with the cheese with this serving, but AAM enjoyed it very much!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 2:45 pm

    This looks great. My husband isn’t a bean guy, but I make chili and freeze for myself. I follow my father’s lead for chili, in that it makes a great vehicle for cleaning out the odds and ends from the veggie drawer.

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