Barely Vegetarian Chili


Granted everyone's got their own favorite chili recipe, and no doubt the meat eaters in the crowd are already looking at each other skeptically. But trust me, my carnivorous boyfriend couldn't tell the difference, and neither will you (or yours!) :)

Though I always favour Yves veggie ground rounds for meatless options, I've heard other meatless grounds or crumbles work just as well. Yves makes a great Mexican spiced ground that is perfect in this chili, though I like the Italian spiced one just as well.

You'll need a giant stove top pot, a serious cutting board, and a wooden spoon for stirring. Chili can stain these puppies in my experience, so plastic or a crappy wooden one is likely a good option. Throw in any other veggies you love in chili (or have on hand) - think zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and let me know if you come up with anything even more creative!

Chop: 1 red and 1 green bell pepper
1 onion (I love the sweet ones, though anything but red will do here)
3 celery stalks
1-2 large carrots depending on your love of carrots
Mince: 1 large or 2 regular cloves or garlic

Sautée all of the above on medium heat in 1.5-2 tbsp olive or canola oil until softening (I find this takes about 7-10 minutes).
If you like your chili much spicier (which I often do), dice a jalapeno into the pot at this stage, and pray you got your proportions right.

Add: 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 can(s) diced tomatoes (I like 'em spiced meself)
1 package of meatless crumbles of your choice

Season: 1 generous tbsp chili powder
1 generous tsp dried rosemary
1-2 generous tsp cumin (LOVE cumin)
a few dashes of pepper flakes (very optional, depending on jalapeno status)

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes. I commonly toss in a half container of my favorite tomato pasta sauce if the mess is looking too chunky/not tomatoey enough for my liking.

In my experience, chili is almost always better after sitting in its own juicy goodness for a few hours, and is ALWAYS better on day 2, if you can wait that long :)

Serve hot, topped with sour cream, plain yogurt, chives, grated cheddar, or whatever else you like! Enjoy!!

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