I know what you’re thinking, folks, “Really, Angela? Vegetarian chili?” But you must, must, must try this, die hard meat eater or no. My father, who I am sure is 99% dinosaur (and I’m talking the T-Rex variety) loves this chili like no other, and he doesn’t give out the compliments for non-meat dishes lightly. He’ll even eat this straight up as a main course with not a bit of meat on the side. If that ain’t a testament to quality, then I don’t know what is.
My dad scored this recipe for my sister, Lexi, who then passed it to me. It utilizes veggie crumbles, found in the frozen food section with the meatless entrees and veggie burgers. A solid number of veggies and beer help round out the flavor for a chili that won’t for one second make you miss beef. Dress it up with some shredded cheddar or sour cream and you are in business. It true slacker mode, I have eaten this cold with Fritos scoops and guess what? Still delicious.
PS. This was the first time that my sister had ever been in the kitchen with me for a photo shoot for the blog. She laughed at how small the plate was that I took the macro photo from. Even though I have a bigger kitchen now and more natural light, I still shoot small like I did in NYC in the itty, bitty kitchen with not a bit of sunshine to illuminate my food. This photo above is her demo of the scale of the photo shoot, and not the amount of chili that I gave her as her ration. She ate two full bowls, thank you very much.
Lexi’s Favorite Vegetarian Chili
4 tbs. of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely choped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle of beer
1 can of vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of pinto beans, drained
1 can of light kidney beans or pink beans, drained
2 large cans of diced tomatoes (can use 3 cans of Ro-Tel for extra kick)
1 c. of spicy salsa
1 handful of tortilla chips, crushed
1/4 c. of chili powder
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of oregano
salt and pepper
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add the vegetables and sauté until translucent. Pour in the beer, the stock and the bay leaves and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the veggie crumbles and let warm while you start opening cans.
Add the beans, tomatoes and salsa and stir. Mix in the crushed tortilla chips, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then taste for salt and pepper. You can amp up the heat with hot sauce or cayenne pepper if things are too tame.
Serve chili with shredded cheese, chopped onion and diced jalapeno.