Fridge Clearing Veggie Chili

by Sarah on February 12, 2015 in Chicken night, Main Dish


Maybe you noticed that I totally played hooky on the blog last week. I had grand plans to share a really awesome waffle recipe, but after a particularly busy week of lawyering, snow shovelling, and little-nose wiping, I chose wine over writing. You get it, right?

While I was taking a break from blogging, Wiarton Willy or Punxsutawney Phil (or whichever personified groundhog in which you place your trust) apparently forecasted six more weeks of winter. Which suggests that I can expect plenty more busy weeks of shovelling and nose-wiping before we get any spring-like respite.

In the meantime I’m still on a serious soup, stew, chili rotation over here in the K&B Kitchen. And perhaps the only upside to prolonged winterdom is that I get to share even more of our one-pot favourites with you guys.


It’s a little crazy that I’ve been writing this blog for over two years but have never not once shared a chili recipe. I imagined, I guess, that most people didn’t long for a chili recipe, because for me chili has always been one of those dump-whatever-you-have-into-a-pot sort of endeavours. But invariably, whenever I post a picture of chili on Instagram or some other social media, I get at least one or two rather desperate pleas for the recipe.

So here is that recipe. Or the veggie version, at least. (I do make a meat one, occasionally, and I will share that one day.) If you’ve already got your own favourite chili recipe you can feel free to move right along OR (better yet) use the “comments” section below to link to it or tell me why yours is way freakin’ better than mine. Don’t worry, I can handle it.


I’ve called my version “Fridge Clearing Chili,” which I appreciate  is a bit like calling water “gluten free”. Vegetarian chili is naturally, and should always be, a mechanism for clearing out the almost-expired contents of your refrigerator. If you have to go the grocery store to get the ingredients, then you should definitely be making something more exciting than chili.

Because this recipe is intended to truly be the path to refrigerator catharsis, I haven’t specified what vegetables should be included in it. I leave it up to you to add whatever you’ve got lying around, although I would steer clear of the brassica-type veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage. My version usually incorporates some combination of zucchini, carrot, celery, peppers and mushrooms, but I have also added sweet potato and butternut squash with happy results.

The recipe also calls for a “booster liquid” which doesn’t sound particularly appetizing I realize, but is meant to embrace a wide spectrum of flavourful liquids. Beer is best (in my opinion) but wine, vegetable stock or water will do the trick.

Chili on its own is just ok. What makes it really awesome (and super kid-friendly to boot) is serving it with a selection of tasty accompaniments: quinoa, rice or baked potato on the bottom, and grated cheddar cheese, pickled onions, chopped avocado, shredded cabbage, minced green onions and sour cream on the top. Set it up like a “build your own” chili bar kind of thing, and you might even woo the veggie-shunners in  your family. And if you want to really hit things out of the park, fry up a sunny side up egg and throw that on the top of a steaming bowl of chili. It’s what they eat in heaven, I’m pretty sure.


Ok, now your turn to talk chili to me. If you make this recipe, rate it below (good or bad; I can deal!) or comment and tell me whether your family liked it, what tweaks you made, etc. And if you’ve got a beloved chili recipe, share it below. Links are welcome.

One Pot Chicken Adobo with Coconut Rice

4.8 from 6 reviews


  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 45
  • Total time: 55 mins
This Chicken Adobo recipe is lightly adapted from the pages of Laurie David’s The Family Cooks. The original recipe calls for chicken pieces, but I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, which make things easier and leave you with a leaner sauce. I make this whole recipe for my family of 3.5, and it leaves plenty of leftovers for lunch.
Author: Sarah
Serves: 6 servings


For the Chicken Adobo:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ⅓ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar (white vinegar or rice vinegar will work too)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup water
  • Finely chopped green onions

For the Rice:

  • 1½ cups white rice (thai jasmine or basmati), rinsed several times
  • 1 cup coconut milk (the canned variety, not the watery tetra pak stuff)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 small pinches sea salt


For the chicken adobo:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot (I use my dutch oven) set over medium high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sautee for a couple of minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add the chicken, tamari or soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup and water. Stir everything around a bit, and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat to low, cover and let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and let it simmer another 15-20 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken up a little bit (you don’t want the mixture to boil vigorously).
  6. Check the chicken for doneness, then remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle with green onions, and serve with the rice, spooning the sauce over top for extra flavour.

For the rice:

  1. While the adobo is cooking, combine the rinsed rice, coconut milk water and salt in a small pot, and put the lid on.
  2. Set it over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat to low and steam (don’t take the cover off!) until the liquid is all absorbed, about 15 minutes.

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I am Sarah - lawyer, wife, mama, and semi-professional shower-singer. And this is the story of how I feed my hungry family.




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