I really like chili. Especially as the temperatures begin to drop and the leaves are changing here in the Chicagoland area.
It’s the perfect soul-warming food that can be full of good-for-you ingredients. In fact, I usually change the ingredients based upon what I have available.
After the tomatoes and onions, some ideas include: bell peppers, anneheim peppers, zucchini, winter squash, sweet potato, parsnips, corn and mushrooms.
When we’re in the mood for a meat chili, and I will often use ground bison, and sometimes ground turkey.
Other times I’ll make a vegetarian chili, using beans (black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, etc.), and other times I’ll use crumbled tempeh.
As a part of my last seminar, I shared a recipe for an outstanding vegan chili. I used crumbled tempeh, since I figured this would be an ingredient that not everyone has tried. As far as a meat replacement in chili, it does an outstanding job!
Vegan/Vegetarian Chili (serves 4 for dinner)
- 2 14-oz. cans tomatoes (or boxed/jarred), crushed, petite diced and/or stewed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 c. chopped veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.)
- 1/2 – 1 can beans, drained (~1 c.)
- 1 8 oz. package of tempeh, crumbled
- 2-3 T. high-quality chili powder
- cumin, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red pepper (all to taste)
- optional secret ingredient: 1 T. cocoa powder
- garnish: sliced green onions, diced jalopenos (vegetarian, but not vegan: greek yogurt, parmesan cheese)
1. In a large pot, cook the onion on medium heat until translucent. Add the chopped veggies, and cook for about 5 minutes more.
2. Add the tomatoes, beans, tempeh and seasonings and cocoa powder, and stir.
3. Cook at medium/low heat for at least an hour. The longer, the better! Or transfer everything to a slow cooker, and allow to simmer all day.
Note: Depending upon the thickness desired, you may want to consider adding tomato paste. I find that it depends on how much liquid the vegetables I choose to use add to the dish.
4. Serve with any or all of the garnishes listed above.
MIWFY: This recipe is vegetarian or vegan, depending upon garnishes used.
I often hear people say that they have a “secret ingredient” that makes their chili stand out. Mine is obviously the cocoa powder. Do you have one?