Best Vegetarian Chili!

Until the age of 18, I was fully vegetarian. When I left home, I decided to expand my horizons and start trying new foods. And then somewhere along the way, I found myself attached to a “meat n potatoes” man, and therefore learned to cook and enjoy a variety of different meats. Being raised vegetarian, I still crave my favourite vegetarian meals from time to time, and this chili really hits the spot – sweet, tangy, tomato-ey, with a little bit of spice! I borrowed the recipe from my sister, and then tweaked it a bit to suit O’s sensetive palette. (Most things are just “too spicy”!) To put things in perspective, this chili won second place in a chili cook-off in small-town Alberta, and it wasn’t even labeled as vegetarian. (In the days before allergen tags made their way onto every food product in sight.) O says it’s a winner, though I don’t make it too often due to the fact that my hubby is not a fan of beans!

Best Vegetarian Chili

  1. Mix all items in tofu marinade in a medium sized bowl until it forms a paste slightly thinner than Kraft peanut butter. (If using natural peanut butter, you will want to add an extra 1/4 cup of soy sauce and a bit more oil to get the right consistency.)
  2. Squeeze all liquid out of tofu blocks. (The dryer it is, the more flavour it will absorb.) Cut into 1 inch chunks, and mix into marinade. Let sit at least 1 hour. (Overnight is best.)
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3. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add tofu and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tofu to be a dark brown colour, not quite burnt. Set aside.

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4. In a large saucepan/stock pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add in all vegetables and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes stirring often to avoid sticking.

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5. Add brown sugar to vegetables and cook 10 minutes longer on medium heat, caramelizing the vegetables.

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6. Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder, and tofu. Simmer 10 minutes.

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7. Serve with cornbread muffins and enjoy! Yum yum yum in my tum!

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Best Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time: 1hr 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Ready In: 2 hr

Ingredients:
4-6 blocks tofu
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, minced
6 stalks celery, diced small
2 sweet bell peppers, diced small
4 medium carrots, diced small
1 can mushrooms (or 10 medium diced fresh mushrooms)
3/4 cup brown sugar
large can diced tomatoes
large can kidney beans
1-6tbsp chili powder (to taste, depending how spicy you want it)

Tofu Marinade:
2 heaping tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder (spice mix, not to be confused with straight cayenne)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
splash of hot sauce (optional)
sesame oil to make a thin paste (can use any type of oil, but I find the sesame flavor complements the dish quite well.

  1. Mix all items in tofu marinade in a medium sized bowl until it forms a paste slightly thinner than Kraft peanut butter. (If using natural peanut butter, you will want to add an extra 1/4 cup of soy sauce and a bit more oil to get the right consistency.)
  2. Squeeze all liquid out of tofu blocks. (The dryer it is, the more flavour it will absorb.) Cut into 1 inch chunks, and mix into marinade. Let sit at least 1 hour. (Overnight is best.)
  3. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add tofu and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tofu to be a dark brown colour, not quite burnt. Set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan/stock pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add in all vegetables and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes stirring often to avoid sticking.
  5. Add brown sugar to vegetables and cook 10 minutes longer on medium heat, caramelizing the vegetables.
  6. Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder, and tofu. Simmer 10 minutes and enjoy!

Serve with cornbread muffins! 🙂

Best Vegetarian Chili – Nutrition Label

-Alison

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 Best Vegetarian Chili!

4 Comments

  1. Lincoln Serge | | Reply

    Great of you to share your story. Love it when people keep it real.

    • kissygluvvym | | Reply

      Thank you! I love that my stepson has such an open mind at meal time – it makes it much easier to share my vegetarian recipes with the whole family!

  2. Cheryl | | Reply

    Sounds interesting never thought to add brown sugar to my chili! Must try 🙂

    • kissygluvvym | | Reply

      The brown sugar makes it almost caramelly, and it adds that ‘sweet n spicy’ flavour that’s so popular now! It also really cuts down on the acid, which is something I appreciated when I was pregnant!

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