Monday, March 4, 2013

My Favorite Go-To Chili

Hello friends!

I know that I am a very sporadic blogger, and I apologize for that.  I'm currently working a full-time job, teach pilates at a gym a couple nights a week, am in Grad school, in a band and I also help out at my church sometimes.  So~ it's difficult to have sanity time sometimes. :P  But I wanted to share the recipe that I am currently making RIGHT NOW! :)

I just came back from a visit to the Nutritionist because I've developed some food allergies over the years, and as I've become vegan, the number has increased.  I've also developed a sensitivity to certain foods, so I decided to be my own Sherlock Holmes and get to the bottom of all of this.
Doctor's diagnosis:  clean eating and NO gluten for 4 weeks.  Yikes!  So, making this week my last fling for a month (mostly because I have leftover desserts from this weekend's birthday party), I'm making Vegan Chili and my vegan tofu fries again.

Post Punk Kitchen's Tempeh Chili con Frijoles has been my go to chili for the last month.  When I, Queen of I-get-bored-with-food-blah-blah make a dish 2x in a single month, it's that good!  So here's my recipe, with the modifications off of PPK's wonderful original. :)

Go-To Chili
(adapted from PPK's Tempeh Chili con Frijoles)

1-8 oz pkg of tempeh, cubed
2 green peppers, diced
5 medium sized carrots, diced or sliced into 1/2 in. circles
2 medium yellow onions, diced
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
some olive oil for sauteing
1 Tbsp soy sauce
5-6 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
couple dashes of black pepper
2-15 oz cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint of chocolate stout (I used Young's Double Chocolate Stout)
1-6 oz can of tomato paste
1-28 oz of diced tomatoes
2 tsp maple syrup (or a couple more to taste)
juice of a lemon
2 large handfuls of cilantro, chopped roughly
*if the chili is much thicker than your taste, add 2-3 c of water, adding 1 cup at a time.  I like my chili flavored intensely and thick, so I omit the water all together.

1.  in a saucepan with a lid, add tempeh and water just enough to cover it and the soy sauce.  Bring it to a boil, reduce to med-high heat, and let it simmer until all the water has evaporated.  This can take 15-25 min.
While that's going, in a large pot, put in your onions, peppers and carrots and saute with a Tbsp of oil on med-high heat.  It should brown but not char, as if you were caramelizing the veggies.
2.  When the water evaporates from the tempeh, mash them with a masher, and add a tsp or two of oil and saute for another 10-15 min.
When the veggies are good and browned (about 20 minutes or so), add garlic and cook for 1 min.  Then add spices and cook for another minute.
Add beer and cook for 2 minutes, or until bubbly (turn heat up to high).
3.  Now, add the beans, tomato paste and diced tomatoes.  Tempeh should be done now, so add tempeh as well.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer at med-high heat for 20 minutes.  *If you added water, then uncover pot and boil for another 30 minutes uncovered on med heat.
4.  When done, add maple syrup, lemon and cilantro.  Now consume with either vegan sour cream or guacamole! mmmm~
(very delicious with cornbread too!)
**Note:  Chili, like all saucy dishes, taste better the next day.  All the flavors marry and have time to develop, so if you can make it a day before, I highly recommend it!

For dinner, I'm going to take some of this chili and drown my tofu fries in it.  Instant chili fries! What! :)


  1. I love Emeril Lagasse's chili recipe. I think it's accidental vegan, but it's vegan (and delicious!) nonetheless. I recommend using canned tomatoes instead of fresh and baby bella mushrooms instead of portobello. Here's the recipe in case you want to try it:

    I'm going to try your tofu fries and (my) chili soon! Thanks for the yummy recipes :)

  2. Thanks for the recommendation! I perused the recipe, and it looks like Emeril's version of Chili is a hybrid of Tex Mex Chili with French Ratatouille, which is another delicious stew to have on a cold winter's night.
    :) Let me know how you like your tofu chili fries. :)