Very Excellent Vegan (If You Want) Chili

Very Excellent Vegan (If You Want) Chili

I don’t have many recipes I can claim as my own (I am more recipe follower than recipe creator) but this might be the closest to my own. I discovered the source a few years ago when I was searching online for a good vegan chili recipe. I’ve never fully been a vegan, but for years I preferred eating vegan protein at home as it just seemed healthier and also I hate touching raw meat.

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Maybe it’s not great that I added so many toppings you can’t even see the chili

The original recipe is from a user on allrecipes.com and called The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World. At this point, I’ve modified it enough that I think I can claim my version as my own, so I’ll post that below. Feel free to make the original recipe instead if you want. Either way. It doesn’t matter. I’m not getting paid for this.

Note: My version is vegan because of the vegan meat crumbles, but obviously, as stated in the recipe name, you can make yours a meat version by just subbing in actual meat.

You need at least an hour and a half to make this. I like to give myself two. So don’t make it for dinner if it’s 7pm and you’re starving.

Also, it stores exceptionally well in the freezer. I like to fill several Pyrex containers and keep all of them in the freezer except for one in the fridge. When that one’s gone I just move one down from the freezer.

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Ingredients

This recipe makes 17 cups of chili (see above photo).

Spices – these are suggested amounts but add more or less to your liking. I usually don’t even measure these out, but sprinkle them in according to what seems right:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper

And the rest:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium white or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 bell peppers (whatever colors you want)
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 package (usually 3-4 cups) vegetarian meat crumbles
  • 3 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained

Again, you can modify this however you’d like. I like my bell peppers to be three different colors, but that’s mostly for aesthetics. You can substitute other beans if you want. You can add more green chilis or even jalapeños. I like things spicy, but not crazy spicy, so I leave out the jalapeños the original recipe calls for. Add as much carrot and celery as you want. I think 2-3 stalks each does the job.

Quick Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and salt. Cook a few minutes on medium heat until the onions start to brown.
2. Add the garlic, green chiles, and vegetables. Leave it on medium, stir, and cook a few minutes until it’s heated.
3. Add the vegetarian meat crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. During that time, chop the peeled tomatoes into chunks. I cut them all at once in a small pot to save time. Discard the extra liquid from the cans.
5. Drain the beans. Add the tomatoes, beans, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
6. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
7. Drain the corn. Add the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

This is important: I start chopping things up way before I turn on the stove. It might take me a full half hour to chop everything, especially if I’m inputting the recipe into myfitnesspal and weighing everything so I know the calorie count.

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Directions with Pics

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and salt. Cook a few minutes on medium heat until the onions start to brown.

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2. Add the garlic, green chiles, and vegetables. Leave it on medium, stir, and cook a few minutes until it’s heated.

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3. Add the vegetarian meat crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. During that time, chop the peeled tomatoes into chunks. I cut them all at once in a small pot to save time. Discard the extra liquid from the cans.

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5. Drain the beans. Add the tomatoes, beans, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

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6. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

7. Drain the corn. Add the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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Voila! You have made Very Excellent Vegan (If You Want) Chili!

Now here’s where the fun part comes in: you can top this with anything you want. You can also bottom this with anything you want. I usually don’t bother with rice; I prefer adding broccoli or cauliflower to my chili. Sometimes I’ll mix it right in and sometimes I’ll lightly sautée it and use it as a base:

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For toppings, the sky’s the limit. I love avocado and cheddar cheese. When I took these pics, I had just bought some hot buffalo wing cheddar, and that turned out to be delicious on the chili. I guess this doesn’t make it vegan, but obviously you can use vegan cheese. My mom used to like shredded Daiya. Field Roast’s Chao is also good.

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If I’m really going all out, I’ll have a side of blue corn chips, alternating using a fork and a chip as my utensil.

Nutrition

This will vary depending on what you add. Generally, if you don’t stray too far from my version, it should come out to be about 110 calories a cup.

Here is the nutrition info from the last batch I made, which produced 17 cups of chili. Note that I have it set as 1 cup = 1 serving, but I usually eat 2 or 3 cups per meal. Courtesy of myfitnesspal.

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If you make this, let me know how it goes. Remember you can modify it however you like. Then, years from now, post your version to your blog and claim it as your own!

Happy chili making!

5 thoughts on “Very Excellent Vegan (If You Want) Chili

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