Vegan Chili

As a Texan, born and raised, it’s sort of a requirement that I cook chili.  Lots and LOTS of chili.  Over the past year, as we’ve tried to reduce our meat consumption, I’ve been tinkering with my recipe to make it vegetarian.  Once that succeeded, I took it a step further and made it vegan.

And it’s awesome.

Honestly.  I know that a lot of vegan food can seem sort of blah, but this is free of tofu/fake meat/anything else disgusting and is pretty dang good.  I’ve got a houseful of meat-eating Texans that consume this on a regular basis and haven’t complained about the lack of animal products once.  Not to mention that beans are amazing for you.  If you don’t believe me, check out my friend Cherrish’s blog about beans – she just happens to be a holistic health coach, so she knows what she’s talking about: http://holistichealthcoach.blog.com/2012/04/17/do-you-want-to-know-the-truth-beans-reign-supreme/

Ready to make some vegan food?  Let’s get started!

Ingredients

*Please note that I tend to “eyeball” quantities when it comes to spices, so I’ve given an approximate amount but this by no means exact.  Tinker with this as you will.

Olive oil

2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-2 cups dried beans; make sure to follow all presoaking/cooking instructions on the bag of beans)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or dried; same as above)

1 large can (28oz) tomato puree

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1 white onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp red pepper (add more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 green onion

Tortilla chips, for serving

Brown rice, for serving (if desired – I think this may be an east Texas thing!)

1.  Heat a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until they start to brown and soften.  Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for a few more minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

2.  Add the beans to the pot and stir.

3.  Add the cans of tomato puree and diced tomatoes.  Fill the can of tomato puree with water and add it to the pot.   If you’d like more liquid in your chili, repeat this step.

4. Add the spices.

5. Stir everything together and turn the heat up to high.  Let the chili come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.  Let it simmer, uncovered, for about two hours.

6.  Prepare the brown rice, if using (we always serve chili over rice; I’m not sure where this tradition came from or if other people do it, but I can’t imagine chili without it).  Ladle the chili over the rice and crumble some tortilla chips on top.  Finish it off with some chopped green onion.

If you’re not a strict vegan, feel free to add some shredded cheddar and sour cream on top.  Mmm!

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