This time of year, fresh tomatoes are not exactly at peak. Thank goodness for canned! Chili is very good with fresh tomatoes – but just as good with canned. We love to mix it up with chili. In fact, in college, I used to try inventing new veggie chili recipes all the time. Because the DH loves margaritas, this recipe was developed with him in mind. It’s delicious all by itself, but also great on nachoes. Oh, and like most chili, it’s even more flavorful the second day!
2 Tbl. canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 16-oz. cans chili beans, not drained (we use Bush’s)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, not drained (we use Muir Glen)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 green jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup orange juice
4 Tbl. agave nectar
1 shot tequila
2 Tbl. lime zest (about two limes)
1/2 cup lime juice (about two limes)
In a large soup pot, saute onion in canola oil until wilted. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook about 1-2 minutes more, until garlic and chili are fragrant. Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, jalapeno and orange juice. Turn heat to low,cover pot and simmer chili about 20-30 minutes until broth thickens and flavors are combined. Add in agave and tequila. Cook about 3-5 more minutes.
To serve, stir a pinch of lime zest and a few teaspoons of lime juice into each bowl. The brightness of the lime will pull the whole dish together.
This is excellent with a dollop of soy sour cream, some tortilla chips – and of course, a margarita!