Delicious Chili doesn't always require meat.
What is it about pureed beans in a saucy tomato base? S'GOOD right?! Anyway, I am excited to say this is another one of my own recipes. It has taken A LOT of experimenting and changes throughout the last few years, but I am happy I have finally gotten it down to complete perfection (in my mind at least!).
Turkey Chili used to be one of my favorite dinner dishes in High School, and when I became a vegetarian, it was one of the meals I missed the most. And like many of you vegetarians out there, I've even tried my fair share of “fake meat” chili alternatives (how appetizing. bleh)- all fails. Nothing would come close to that same chunky chili I missed oh so much. THEN I thought to myself, 'why do I NEED to replace the meat with a replica, just to give it that ‘knock off’ consistency? It kind of takes like rubber”. First let me say this- not ALL of those fake meat alternatives taste bad, but what concerns me most is what the heck is in them?! A lot of these alternative meats are loaded with salt and ingredients I can’t even pronounce (sometimes I swear these names are not even in English).
So why not just disregard the ‘meat’ all together, and add more tomatoes and beans? Who needs that extra junk in your body? GENIUS discovery, right? OK maybe not that genius, but I was thrilled with this *quote unquote* epiphany!
And there you have it! The creamiest, chunky, hearty Vegan approved Chili- made entirely of veggies, beans, and none of that ‘fake meat’ alternative.
Enoy! xx S.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1 dry pint of Cherry tomatoes, chopped & diced (but save the juices)
- 1 - 1 3/4 cups of Vegetable broth
- 3 Tbs of tomato paste
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups of rice (measured uncooked)
- 1-2 Tbs of olive oil
- Chili powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 tsp of organic cane sugar
- Fresh parsley (optional for garnish)
PREPARE: Dice onion & Cherry tomatoes, and set aside. Drain and rinse beans, combine, and set aside.
TO BEGIN: In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add onions and a light coating of chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. If you want a little spicier, add more of the red pepper here, or even throw in some diced jalapeno [if you're feeling extra dangerous]. Mix well so all onions are coated in spices evenly. Cook until translucent & slightly golden- about 5-7 minutes.
COMBINE: Once onions have cooked, add in 2 cans of beans, tomatoes, and veggie broth (Side note: add enough broth to justtttt barely cover the surface of the beans and tomatoes. You don't want it too soupy, but needs enough liquid to get saucy while cookin- MMM!). Give it a good stir, and increase heat to high. Once it reaches a boil, add sugar, paste, cover, and reduce to medium low. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (2 times should do the trick!). You will notice it's started to thicken. Next, decrease heat to low and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes- again stirring ever so often.
COMPLETE & EAT!: After you simmer for about 10-15 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. It should be much thicker and have that 'chili' consistency we all grew to love. Once cooled, we are going to puree half. I personally like to use an immersion hand blender here, but a regular stand blender will work totally fine too! Briefly blend a 1/4- 1/2 of the chili (but not TOO blended because we still want some texture), and add back to the balance of unmashed chili. Stir and combine well. NOW it will REALLY look like that super chunky-but-creamy chili you have been drooling over since you've started cookin' those onions. Pour over rice and garnish with fresh parsley. Bon appetit!
**Note: If you want a teeny bit thicker, add a little more tomato paste at the end. If you feel like its too thick, just add more broth! You can also toss in some red onions and green peppers to this recipe to give it a little more flavor- all to your preference! There has been times I've had an extra red onion in the fridge and I just chucked it in while sauteing. AND most importantly, if you don't like black or garbanzo beans, you can replace this with any bean you want! Experiment and make it your own. OH! And if you do, please share your photos (and chili) with me :)