Vegetarian Chili with Chocolate

Sounds interesting right, chocolate in chili? I ran across this recipe on Real Simple but tweaked it a little. I have tried several versions of vegetarian chili, but many of them turn out to be more of just a vegetable & bean soup. The chocolate adds some thickness to the soup and gives it sort of a mole type of flavor, not to mention the antioxidants you get from chocolate! As I type this, I am eating the leftovers for lunch and it tastes even better on the second day. I served it with some corn bread muffins and it made quite the tasty healthy meal for dinner.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2- 14.5 ounce cans of chili prepared tomatoes (or just diced tomatoes)
2- 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1- 15-ounce cans light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1- 15-ounce cans dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
32 ounces of vegetable stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. In a stockpot, over medium heat, cook the oil, garlic, onion, and green pepper until slightly softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, vegetable broth, cumin, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (I made corn bread in this time.)
4. Before serving, stir in the chocolate until melted.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Keep It: Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 4 months. Freeze individual servings in heavy-duty zipper bags

The Skinny: Serves 8 @ 263 calories

~Beth