We’ve been having mad cravings for vegan chili as the weather is still cool for this time of the year. The weather has actually been really wacky… lots of rain, and cold days. The weather is usually in the 80s this time of year, but today it’s only reached a high of 65. I’m not complaining. At all. Trust me. The month of May just means the summer is around the corner, which means hot summer months. Ugh. Such a drag. So as much as I would like some days in the high 70s/low 80s, I’m going to enjoy this weather now because it’s gonna get hot in herrre. Okay, now I’m complaining.
We decided to take advantage of today’s weather to make some spicy vegan chili to satiate our cravings. And satiate it did! I would love to eat this chili all year around, but the thought of cooking and eating it during the summer when the temperatures can range anywhere from 100-110 degrees F seems torturous. In fact, anything involving the burners or the oven inside the house during the summer heat sounds unpleasant.
Interestingly, I enjoy this chili more than I do a hearty and meaty chili! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total carnivore. In fact, my initial thought before I tried this chili for the first time was how vegan chili could taste better than a meaty chili? Well, let me tell you, I was completely blown away after my first bowl. The texture of the “ground meat” fooled me, and the beans, vegetables, and spices were so flavorful that I didn’t need or miss the meat. This chili even fooled my dad who says no one can trick him with vegan meat products. Hah! Take that, dad!
This chili is truly the best prescription for the soul.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onions, diced
1 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 large garlic clovies, minced
2 large jalapeno peppers, minced
1 large serrano pepper, minced
12 ounces textured vegetable protein (aka, original Smart Ground)
1 cups water
1 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1 cans (15 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained
3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, chopped
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions, and saute for five minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the textured vegetable protein and water, cook for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another five minutes. Reduce the heat to a medium to medium-low (depending on your burners), and let it “stew”, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes (or until the bell peppers are tender).
Remove from heat and serve with your favorite toppings!