Friday, January 25, 2019

Foodie Friday ~ A Break From Meat With Vegetarian Chili

I don't know about you but I am surrounded by a crowd of carnivores. This made things a little crazy at meal time because more times than not, I was making two different meals so everyone had something to eat. We did have a 'meatless' day and, surprisingly, what I created was eaten but they still love their meat.

Since being put on a different diet, one that needs a huge increase in protein, I had to start including meat here and there as there are certain things in it that aren't in the regular vegetarian diet. But I still dig out the vegetarian recipes, even if I'm the only one who eats the leftovers.

Today, I thought I'd share my version of meatless chili. If done right, even the most stubborn anti-vegetarian in your life will at least be willing to give it a try. The key is to use all of the same ingredients and spices, but switching ground meat with vegetarian crumble. Hey, look. Once you mix it in with all of the other stuff, the consistency is the same. At least that's what I tell myself.

This is my base vegetarian recipe. You can use any beans you want to cram in there, and if you'd rather use your own spice blend rather than the packaged stuff, even better. And you can do this one up in the Crock Pot, pressure cooker or your standard stock pot. It will turn out the same.

Let me know if you give this one a shot. We're always looking for new recipes, cool kitchen gadgets to share or tips on nutrition if you'd like to share.

Happy cooking!

Chynna's Vegetarian Chili

1 package of vegetarian crumble
1 package of vegetarian chili mix
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chili or a couple fingerfuls of chili flakes (if desired)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (use a chunkier version if you want)
1 can of tomato paste
1 - 2 cups of broth, depending on how thick you want it
1 can or a few cups of frozen corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can garbonzo beans
Avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream and/or green onion for garnish

1) Heat up the pot, then add oil. Once the oil starts moving, add the onion and cook until almost translucent. Add the garlic, cooking for a couple of minutes then throw in the chili or chili flakes (more can be added later when you do a taste test before serving).

2) Once those ingredients are softer and mixed together, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. After that mixture is blended and starts to bubble a bit, add in the broth and judge the thickness of the sauce at this point. More paste can be added to thicken.

3) Add all of the beans, the corn, and the crumble, stirring until it bubbles again. Once there, throw in the vegetarian chili mix and whatever seasoning you'd like to add in. (I find the mix enough, but you can add a bit more cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper or whatever secret spice of your choice)

4) Turn down the element to low and allow it to simmer for at least 1/2 hour before serving. If you're crew is like mine and can't wait, it's fine. Allowing it to simmer just gives it time to marry all the flavors a bit more.

Serve by the bowlful and garnish with your favorite toppings. My crew likes either fresh buns to dip into the chili or even nachos on the side.


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