Wow–Monday again already! Where on Earth did that weekend go? Unfortunately, wherever it went, it took my Sunday blog with it. Just one week into a month of consecutive blogging, and I have missed a day! If Mondays are good for anything, it is for a fresh start. So, here we go again.

The weather here in Chicago has turned a little crisp this morning, reminding us that autumn is on its way. For the first time since late April or early May, the kids left for school wearing blue jeans.

ImageWhile many lament the end of summer, I am always excited about fall’s arrival. I love the autumn more than any other season. And I especially like cooking in the cooler weather! Tonight I think I am going to fix the first chili of the season. I have 3 chilis that I love to make: a Cincinnati chili, a quick Vegetarian Chili, and a Chili Mac. We’ve been eating too much take-out and meat over the last week or so. Tonight’s chili will be the Vegetarian Chili. Here’s the recipe:

Quick Vegetarian Chili
(based on a Weight Watcher’s recipe from Make It in Minutes)

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 1/2 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 1/2 oz) can black beans

1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp coarsley ground black pepper
1 ounce semisweet chocolate

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 4-5 minutes.
3. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cocoa powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
4. Bring to a boil. Then cook on lower heat, at a simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching, about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted.
6. Serve topped with low-fat sour cream, low-fat shredded cheese, and/or chopped green onions.

Serves 5 or extend by serving over rice or small pastas, such as macaroni or shells.