Sunday, June 28, 2009

vegetarian chili!

hey i woke up to a text from my friend requesting my chili recipe :) i have never really liked chili...but weirdly got into it this past year when my friend taught me how to make it. it was pretty much the first recipe i learned to make in my new life of cooking. its really good and super easy (two things i look for in a recipe!)...i like to make a big pot and then freeze it in portions so i can have fast, easy lunches or dinners when i need them! i recently started making my chili with TVP (textured vegetable protein)--this is a soy based meat substitute that works really well in chili bc it looks like and has the same texture as ground meat. it has 12g of protein, 80 cals, and no fat in each 1/4 cup serving! TVP needs to be rehydrated with water--but i just put it straight into the chili because it will rehydrate in there as it cooks. if you are not into trying TVP, you can also use tempeh (another meat substitute ), which can also be used as a ground meat substitute. it has 19g of protein, 9g of fat, and 230 cals in each 4 oz serving (1/2 block). i use lightlife organic 3 grain tempeh but have not tried it in chili yet! anyway, enough about we go:

Vegetarian Chili with TVP
~5 or 6 servings (depending on size obvi)

1 1/4-1 1/2 c. TVP (textured vegetable protein) or 1+ blocks of tempeh
1 can tomato paste
1 large can (or two normal cans) whole peeled tomatoes
2 cans beans (1 kidney, 1 other--i use pinto)
1 onion
1 pepper
couple stalks celery (if you like that in chili) or any other veggies you want to add!
2-3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
spices-chili powder, crushed red pepper (for some spice!), salt, pepper, oregano, cumin

large pot
cutting board
can opener
containers to freeze it :)

1. finely chop all vegetables (including garlic, but very small, big chunks of garlic=ew)
2. put the garlic and some olive oil (1-2 tbls..might need to add more when you add the veggies if it looks dry) in the pot on medium heat for a couple of minutes. then add the veggies (onions, peppers, celery, etc) and let cook over medium heat until soft (but not brown).
3. once the veggies are pretty soft, add the can of whole, peeled tomatoes (you can either cut them up on a cutting board or just kind of crush them up in your hands while adding them one by one) including the juice in the can. stir.
4. add the can of tomato paste. then add one can of water (tiny tomato paste can). you may need to add more water, depending on how thick you like it or if it looks dry. you can do this at any dont want it to get too watery, so go slow! however when i use TVP (because it needs to rehydrate, meaning it takes in a lot of water) i definitely add more. stir.
5. add both cans of beans (drained) and the TVP (if you are using tempeh...i would chop it up when you chop the veggies and add it around the time you add the veggies--before the tomatoes)
6. add spices (heavy on the chili powder...just a bit of all the others, i dont measure just sprinkle it in and try it after it cooks a while..def add more if you cant taste it enough!!) and let simmer (turn down heat) for at least 1/2 hour but up to 2 hours.

there you go! let me know if you try it and how you like it!! special credit to my mom for always answering my millions of cooking questions and to kate, who taught me how to make my first chili :) ENJOY!



  1. I will start my comment off with what Oliver said to me last night, "This is the best chilli I've had in awhile. It's so fresh...doesn't taste processed." This recipe was so easy, fun, and it barely cost a thing! Spices were the most expensive part but once you have them, you will use them for awhile! I made it using tempeh and it was INCREDIBLE! I also made it a 3-bean chilli with kidney,pinto,and black! Thanks for this great recipe! POST MORE!

    Oh and I blogged about it:

  2. yayyyyyyy!!!!!!!! im SO happy you loved it!!! YUM!! xoxoxo!!!