Thursday, February 26, 2009

Death Proof Chili

While meat may be a treat for some, for others its just plain icky yuk gross. When making a more traditional tomato based chili, who needs meat when you've got all the beans and veggies and deliciousness to fill up the bowl. So all you cows and chicken out there can breath a sigh of relief cause you've earned another week on the farm. Today we're directing our butcher knives the poblano pepper way. Watch out veggies, you're about to get cooked.

Vegetarian Chili with TVP
  • 1 c. tvp
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/4 raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 c. corn, fresh if possible, but frozen will do
  • 1-2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
Ingredient notes: Tvp or textured vegetable protein and nutritional yeast can be bought in the bulk dried foods section at your local health food store or at Whole Paycheck ahem, I mean our evil friend, the Walmart of green living, Whole Foods. I like to use Tvp in my chili because its cheap, easy to make and adds just a bit more texture and protein (especially good for vegans). The only problem with Tvp is, it doesn't taste like anything, so we have to spice it up.
I use nutritional yeast as well as other spices to infuse some flavor into the tvp. Nutritional yeast , a staple for any vegan pantry, comes in handy for making a lot of dishes like vegan mac and cheese. If you don't have nutritional yeast, you can use salt, but the nutritional yeast also supplies a nice nutty flavor.

Rehydrate TVP with a ratio of 1 part hot/boiling water: 1 part tvp. In a bowl, mix dried tvp with nutritional yeast, chili powder and cumin. As we said above, adding spices to the tvp helps give flavor. Boil 1 cup water on stove top or in microwave. Pour boiling water into bowl and stir into tvp. Allow to sit for 15 - 30 minutes until tvp is hydrated.

Saute tvp. Mix hydrated tvp with chopped onion and diced jalapeno. Saute in 1 Tbs of olive oil until crispy. Add lime juice and continue to cook for another minute until lime juice is basically evaporated.

Roast poblano peppers on gas stove top or under broiler until skin is charred. Peel charred skin away and roughly chop into 1/2" squares.

Add tomatoes and cook down
. Combine tvp mixture with cans of tomato, chopped poblano peppers and raisins in a soup pot, bring to a boil and lower to simmer until tomatoes cook down about 20 minutes.

Quickly roast corn. If you are using frozen corn, char quickly under broiler while chili is cooking. Place frozen corn on a baking sheet and broil until charred and crispy about 15 minutes. You can skip this step if you want, but the corn will be mushy. Corn on the cob can be quickly roasted over gas burner.

Season chili to finish. Once tomatoes have cooked down, add corn, chocolate and remaining spices. Season to taste. I also add a bit of pomegranate syrup if I feel like the chili needs a bit more sweet.

I like to garnish with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese and serve with corn bread. Fresh Jalapeno slices and cilantro make an excellent vegan garnish.

No animals where hurt during the making of this dish, except my dog who felt emotionally abused because I wouldn't let her chomp on the corn bread. Oh well.


Anonymous said...

Should I call you "Jungle Julia" from now on? The chili looks delicious.

Andrea said...

"a lot of mo'f**in men have had plenty of fun adoring my chili." har har.

Unknown said...

Ahh, Chili, my favorite of foods. I wish I could have tried it. One thing I like to do is pour a little bit of dry red sherry in there for a nice nutty flavor. It also gives it a nice color. And a little brown or pure cane sugar to offset the savory. I know a lot of people don't like this, but I love to finish the chili off with a chopped cilantro garnish on top. Also, I'm surprised that you don't use any vegetable stock. I'm guessing the nutritional yeast fills out the flavor for this dish.

Unknown said...

oh yeah, the raisins and/or cranberries are a nice touch. said...

Hi Andrea - Love your joie d'vie! We're wrapping slabs o' soda bread with thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma for an Italian/Irish experience.
Thursday, I'm doing a media tour in Chicago with Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist on "The Biggest Loser". She has a new book.
Would you and Ira like to have lunch or dinner with us Thursday? Where? Anywhere - your call!
Call me or Diana 212-420-8808. Kathy

Michael A. Gottlieb said...

Your chili recipe looks great! I will try it. However, I would like to point something out: You write "No animals where hurt during the making of this dish."

That might be true if you excluded the cheese and sour cream, otherwise it is probably not true, unless you own your own well-cared for cow(s).

If you think that dairy cattle lead pain-free lives, guess again. You have, perhaps, been misled, for example, by the deceptive "California's Happy Cows" ads on TV. Commercial dairy cattle lead short miserable lives, and are often mistreated, before finally being slaughtered. Do a Google search on "dairy cattle abuse" and you will see what I am talking about - such abuse is quite common, I am sorry to say.