Friday, January 31, 2020

I Can't Believe It's Vegetarian Chili + BHM Virtual Potluck

Am I alone in amazement that we are literally saying goodbye to January already?! Nonetheless here we are heading into February with no signs of time slowing down to allow for anything other.  Be that as it may, I'm inviting us to slow down as often as possible, release "hurry mode", and intentionally embrace the simple and grand moments that make up life.

As you might have guessed by now, hearty, comfort food is one of my favorite ways to settle in and take a load off.  And when you're talking good for you x good to you fare, it doesn't get much better than this.  Enter one of my favorite dishes, chili--with a vegetarian twist.  For this dish, I'm not referring to my Spicy Three Bean Chili.  Instead, I'm talking about a meatless version that mimics all the heartiness, texture and um-um goodness and flavor of your favorite turkey or beef chili.  Are you excited yet?

If I hadn't made it myself, I would have been hard pressed to believe that this was a truly meatless dish, because it gives off the exact texture and look of the chili of my childhood (grandmama's beef chili) and my favorite turkey chili I make most often these days. I don't know about you, but I call that a win-win, especially for those of us currently working on our summer bodies. ;)

With the ease of nothing more than adding meatless crumbles to my typical chili base, it was quicker, easier--and just as delicious--as my original recipe. Finish with a garnish of creamy avocado slices, peppery jalapenos, bright and fragrant cilantro, a generous splash of citrus, and whatever else you please, to take it over the top.  And don't just take my word for it.  I want you to make. it. and then tell me you're as thrilled as I am to add this to the vegetarian repertoire you never knew you wanted.

And because chili has always been a staple in my food story--from childhood until now--I'm excited to be sharing this recipe as a part of the Black History Month Virtual Potluck, now in its fourth year.  In case you're wondering, it's a wonderful collection of recipes, stories, and heritage, that showcase black culture through the lenses of cuisine and storytelling, as shared by black food bloggers throughout Black History Month (translation: it's really something special.)  *Grab the full list of BHM Potluck 2020 recipes and bloggers following the recipe below.

Enjoy... and Happy Eating! 

I Can't Believe It's Vegetarian Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
12 oz. water
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 15oz. can chili beans
1 package of Meatless Crumbles (I used Gardein's)
Several splashes of Tabasco sauce (optional)
Sliced avocados, limes, jalapenos, and chopped cilantro, for garnish 

Preheat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot under medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper and ½ teaspoon salt.  Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.  Add in garlic and cook for another minute. 

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, spices and seasonings, 1 teaspoon salt and Tabasco, if using.  Stir until mixed thoroughly and bring to a slight boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in meatless crumbles and beans and cook for an additional five to ten minutes.  Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Black History Month Virtual Potluck, 2020


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