Garden Chili with Football Spirit

by Sue Zelickson, Tastemaker in Residence


No matter what team you are rooting for, the togetherness and camaraderie are really super during the Superbowl. It evolves when family and friends gather to feast on great nibbles while watching the game on a big TV.  

Every year we look forward to deep bowls of chili, with a choice of toppings. The recipes range from using beef, chicken, turkey, bison and of course vegan. The hot meter goes from bland to ultra spicy. Some are loaded with vegetables and other ingredients; but all are warm and wonderful for midwinter enjoyment. Sure to create a good spirit at your table no matter who wins the game...

Here is one of my all time favorite chili recipes as it includes veggies and beer; you could add a meat of your liking-from the Minnesota Heritage Cookbook, Look What's Cooking Now.

3 large onions, chopped
3 zucchini, sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, cut up
2-3 leeks chopped-white part only
1 clove garlic-minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 (20 oz) cans tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 cup beer or water
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 (16 oz) cans kidney beans


  1. In a large kettle, sauté onions, zucchini, mushrooms, leeks, garlic and spices in oil.

  2. Add tomatoes (cut up slightly), tomato paste, beer, vinegar, brown sugar and kidney beans. Cook over low heat for 45-60 minutes until chili is thickened.

  3. Serve in bowls topped with garnishes. Set out bowls for guests to help themselves.

Suggested toppings: sour cream,  plain low-fat yogurt, chopped green onions, salsa, shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, chopped green chilies. 
Cook’s Note
10-12 servings.