2(14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained(can use tomato sauce instead, if desired)
1(15 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1(15 ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
shredded cheddar cheese(optional)
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Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté until tender.
Stir in the bell peppers, garlic powder and chili powder. Cook about 6 minutes.
Stir in the mushrooms and frozen corn. Cook about 5 minutes and test to make sure all vegetables are tender. Add cooking time if needed.
Stir in tomatoes, kidney and black beans. Season with oregano, cumin, basil and salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve warm, topped with shredded cheddar if desired.
This chili is especially flavorful if made 1-2 days in advance as this allows the flavors to develop.
To prepare using local, frozen ingredients similar to the schools, use frozen Snopac vegetables in the same quantities listed above. These are available at area grocery stores including Woodman's, Festival Foods and the People's Food Co-op.
Some districts will also serve this chili with local ground beef or pork. To add this step, simply cook your ground meat thoroughly in a large pot, then set it aside, wipe out the pot and begin with step 1.
This recipe is very adaptable! Add other vegetables to mix it up, or try adding a little cayenne pepper for a spicy kick!