Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vegetarian Chili

This is one of my favorites dishes. It's never quite the same because I continually alter the ingredients based on what's on hand. I always season to taste, but I listed my preferred spices. Start with salt, pepper and chili powder working your way through the list until the flavor and heat suits.

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients and Directions
1.5 cups dried black beans
1.5 cups dried kidney beans

Sort and rinse the beans. Soak overnight and follow directions on package for preparation or use a pressure cooker. In a pressure cooker, add a tablespoon of olive oil and 12 cups of water (4 cups of water per cup of beans). Put the pressure cooker on high and wait for the steam to rapidly escape through the regulator. Lower temp to medium/medium high keeping an easy spin on the regulator. Once the steam begins to release at a constant rate start a timer for 24 minutes. Afterwards, remove the pressure cooker from the stove and run cold water over the lid avoiding the steam vent and other valves until the lid releases. Do not immerse the pressure cooker under water. In addition to the beans, I use most of the water from the pressure cooker (more of a broth at this point) in my chili.

1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 jalapenos with seeds removed
1 habanero pepper
5 sweet baby peppers
1 package MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles, Boca Ground Crumbles, tofu or tvp (textured vegetable protein)

In a cast iron frying pan, add a teaspoon of olive or grape seed oil and brown the onion and garlic. Add the jalapenos, habanero and sweet baby peppers sauteing until soft. (I love frying/sauteing in cast iron because you can use a lot less oil without the stick.) Finally, toss in the veggie crumble, tofu and/or tvp (textured vegetable protein). If you're using tvp, a defatted soy flour product that's high in protein, add water to soften into a hamburger-like texture. Tofu can be cut into small cubes or crumbled. (Sometimes, I freeze a block of tofu. The freezing changes its texture, and the tofu absorb flavor better.  Perfect for crumbling into a chili or pasta sauce.) Season the frying pan ingredients to taste with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and soy sauce.

1 cup reconstituted dry or fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen corn
1 quart low sodium tomato juice and/or low sodium V8
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
5 carrots chopped
5 stalks of celery chopped (I use the leafy celery tops, too!)
2 heads of broccoli chopped into bite-sized florets

chili powder
chipotle powder
Walker & Sons Slap Ya Mama "Hot" Cajun Seasoning
liquid smoke
soy sauce
lime juice
Mexican oregano
10 dark chocolate chips (This helps cuts the acidity/brightness of the tomatoes.)

In a 12-16 quart stock pot, combine prepared beans and water, fried veggie crumble with onion and peppers, mushrooms, frozen corn, tomato juice and/or V8, crushed tomatoes, carrots, celery and broccoli. Cook on high until boiling, reduce heat and simmer. I like to cover during simmer adjusting the heat to prevent a boil over. Stir regularly. Don't let the ingredients burn to the bottom of the pan. Season to taste using the spices listed or some family favorites. Chili is ready when vegetables are soft, but it's also one of those food that tastes better the next day once the spice and ingredients have had a chance to meld.

No comments:

Post a Comment