Accidently Almost Vegan White Bean Chili

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When I started looking for healthier recipes, eating vegan was really not in my plan.  I love meat and anything and everything dairy…especially cheese!  However, with the goal of incorporating low fat dinners into my diet, a few vegetarian meals seemed to just make sense.  There are so many little tweaks that can me made to the naughtiest of recipes to maintain some waistline friendliness.  That’s how this dish came to be developed, through replacing oil packed sun dried tomatoes with the dried variety and dropping the sausage.  It wasn’t until I was serving dinner that I realized I had made accidental almost vegan chili!  I think the only caveat is the Worchester sauce which contains anchovies.  But, I know there are vegan options available for Worchester sauce, so based upon the contents of your pantry this could be a wonderful vegan meal!

  • 1/2 cup dried sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 15-ounces can cannellini beans
  • 2 dashes Worchester Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 ounces spinach, tough stems removed

 

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Soak sun dried tomatoes in 2 cups of boiling water for 20 minutes or until soft.

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Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan.  Add onion and cook over medium heat until caramelized.

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Drain and coarsely chop tomatoes.

Confession:  You could certainly reserve the water from the sun dried tomatoes to use later in this recipe, or for another recipe.  However, I chose to discard the water instead of using it in this recipe.  I feel that sun dried tomatoes are a strong enough flavor component that additional tomato goodness wasn’t really necessary.

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Add rehydrated tomatoes to caramelized onions.  Stir in un-drained cannellini beans.

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Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, two minutes.

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Stir in water, spinach, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper and garnish with grated Parmesan, if you are feeling crazy!

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Enjoy your amazing delicious dinner and ultimately healthy dinner!

 

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