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Easy Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes: Meatless Chili

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Quick Answer

Easy, healthy Crock-Pot recipes don't get much better than this rich-tasting, no-meat chili. Hearty and simple to make, it will satisfy the hungriest of tummies while nourishing every part of the body.

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Easy Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes: Meatless Chili
Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0/Alpha/Flickr

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 28-ounce can black beans
  • 1 28-ounce can pinto beans
  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sharp shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Mince the onion and garlic cloves finely.
  2. Dice the tomatoes into small, bite-sized chunks.
  3. Chop the eggplant into chunks about the same size as the tomatoes. Don't worry about removing the seeds; the inside of the eggplant will turn nice and soft once cooked through.
  4. Put all the vegetables into the slow cooker.
  5. Sprinkle in the herbs and spices.
  6. Pour in the cans of beans, water included. Chickpeas are also a good addition to this Crock-Pot recipe, in place of one type of bean. Really, any type of bean, lentil or similar pulse can work very well in this healthy recipe.
  7. Close the lid of the slow cooker and set to low heat.
  8. Cook for 6-8 hours, checking occasionally. If the tomatoes are not particularly juicy and the chili is sticking to the bottom of the pot during the first hour or two, add a bit of water and mix well.
  9. Once the chili is finished cooking, add the cocoa and stir thoroughly. This will add a deep, rich flavor to the chili that will bring out the other spices and the taste of the beans.
  10. Serve the chili on its own, or beside fluffy rice or potatoes. This Meatless Chili can also pair very well with fresh garlic buns.
  11. Top with shredded cheddar, provolone or another sharp-tasting cheese. Some might prefer sour cream, which is also a perfectly acceptable accompaniment.
  12. Want your chili a little meatier, but still healthy? Go ahead and add a thick, fresh tuna steak in the center. Flake it apart with a fork and stir through at the end of cooking.
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