In my opinion, chili falls into two categories. The hearty meat style of chili - thick and filling, or the lighter vegetarian style of chili - loaded with vegetables and beans, often times feeling a bit more like a minestrone soup, still filling, but not that stick to your ribs filling.
I’ve always gravitated towards the hearty meat style of chili. I find it more satisfying and it appeals more to my flavor palate. Because Brent is a vegetarian, I usually make a heartier style of chili and substitute the ground beef for a vegetarian friendly ground round. There are so many good meat-substitute products out there these days, you can hardly taste the difference. Some of my favorite ground meat substitutes are Morning Star Farm’s Grillers Crumbles (US only), Quorn Meatless Grounds (US only), and Yves Original Veggie Ground Round (Us and Canada).
This chili recipe is my favorite. It’s the one I make time and time again. Sometimes, if I have it, I’ll add some frozen corn at the end, but besides that, it always stays the same. I like to add lots of toppings to my chili. Probably something I didn’t do quite enough in my earlier days. Some of my favorite toppings are a nice sharp cheddar, sour cream, sliced avocado, sliced green onions, tortillas, tater tots, or french fries. And always a little extra hot sauce.
HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI (serves 6)
prep time - 20 minutes
cooking time - 1 - 3 hours
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz whole mushrooms, quartered
1 red pepper, chopped
12 oz veggie ground round (Morning Star, Beyond Meat, Quorn, Yves)
2 - 16 oz cans of kidney beans
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of salt
1 - 32 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 - 32 oz can of whole tomatoes
In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat.
Add the onions and fry until translucent.
Add the mushrooms and fry until soft.
Add the red pepper and veggie ground ground and fry until the ground round has started to brown.
Add the kidney beans and spices and combine.
Add the 2 cans of tomatoes and combine.
Cover and bring to a low simmer, stirring every 20 - 30 minutes. Cook for a minimum of 1 hour. For maximum flavor, the longer you cook the better.
Can be stored in the fridge for 4 - 5 days.
Suggested toppings - sour cream, cheese, green onions, avocado, tortilla chips, tater tots.