This cozy meal is perfect for cool fall days. Fresh carrots, parsnips and squash add a warm sweetness to the dish while heaps of cumin, coriander and smoked paprika keep things savory. It’s a new family favorite that I even served to a friend for lunch today. Proof that baby food doesn’t have to be bland!
Serves 6 with leftovers
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, coarsely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2-3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 3 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 medium parsnips, quartered then cut into rounds
- 1/2 a small butternut squash, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 each: red, green and orange bell peppers, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and pith removed, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 x 800 ml (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, diced, plus their juice
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 x 400 ml (14 oz) can great north beans, drained and rinsed (red or white kidney beans will work too)
- 1/2 a 420 g package of shitake mushroom ‘chicken’, diced (I used Paradis Vegetarien – if you can’t find it you can always substitute with rehydrated TVP or use a second can of beans)
- Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
- Green onion, chopped into rounds (optional)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and carrots until both begin to soften and the onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, nutritional yeast) then saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add your veggies: parsnips, squash, peppers, jalapeno, zucchini and saute a few more minutes. Next, add your diced tomatoes and their reserved juice plus the beans. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium-low heat until veggies are just soft enough for your little one to safely eat – in my case that was about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the corn and faux chicken and let cook another 5 to 10 minutes – enough time to heat everything through (I like to add these 2 ingredients last to prevent either from overcooking but you can add them earlier in the process if you wish). Season with salt, if using, and fresh cracked pepper
- Remove from heat and serve garnished with green onion and/or cilantro
This chili is a meal in itself but it’s delicious served with toasted flour or corn tortillas or a slice of crusty bread. You can also top it with grated sharp cheddar if you’re keen on dairy.
Nutritionally speaking, it has your bases covered. This dish is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and fiber. If you’re using a fortified nutritional yeast, you’ll also get some healthy B-12 vitamins.