Meaty Vegan Chili

I’m a huge football fan.  My Sunday schedule revolves around when my team is playing.  I am giddy with excitement when the season begins every year, and I am torn apart when my team (inevitably) ends their run without a Super Bowl ring.

Now, I didn’t grow up in a football family.  Instead, one of my friends taught me the beauty of this sport.  So I never knew about silly things like what you’re supposed to eat while tailgating or what food you should provide at your Super Bowl party.  I mean, who cares?  I just want to watch some football.

This might be the least fresh recipe I make – but it’s soooooo good!

Well, according to every cooking show ever, chili and wings are the main game day staples.  Let’s ignore the wings, because there’s really no way to make them vegetarian.  But chili… well, I like chili.  It’s like soup (and I looooooove soup), but with more to it.  So about two years ago, I decided to make some chili.  I mean, if I’m going to be the crazy sports fan that I am, shouldn’t I give the game day foods a chance too?

When I began my search for a chili recipe, I knew one thing for sure: I did not want a big bowl of beans.  Unfortunately, that’s what most vegetarian chilies boil down to.  So I looked for not vegetarian recipes, and I found a great one over at Real Simple.  It had all the staples of a good chili, and, this is the best part, the only liquid in it is beer.  I mean, how can you go wrong?

The biggest adjustment I made for this recipe is the meat (obviously).  Instead of using ground beef, I use a package of meatless crumbles, and treat it like already browned beef.  The crumbles give a “meaty” texture to the dish, and it tastes so good that even your carnivorous friends will like it! (again, it’s full of beer, so it really can’t be bad)

Pair this chili with your favorite cornbread recipe.  Get your jersey on, grab a bowl of chili, and prepare yourself for an afternoon of football.  As for me, I’m going to go warm up a bowl (it reheats excellently) and watch my team play tonight.  Gotta love Monday Night Football.  Go Eagles!

**Update:  Well, at least the chili was good.  Can’t say the same about the game.  Sigh.

Meaty Vegan Chili

Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of meatless crumbles*
1 6 oz. can tomato paste (preferably with no salt added)
1/4 cup chili powder (yes, you are reading that right.  It works, I promise)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 regular bottles lager beer (but feel free to open a 3rd bottle to drink while you cook)
2 regular cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (preferably with no salt added)
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional accompaniments:
Corn bread
Your fav toppings (I prefer avocado, scallions, and cheddar cheese of either the real or the fake variety)

*There are a lot of options for meatless crumbles.  I used LiteLife, but I know that both MorningStar Farms and Boca make similar products.

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium to high heat.  Add the onions and sweat for a few minutes.  Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and the peppers.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about more 5 minutes.

2. Add the meatless crumbles.  If yours are frozen or packed into a log, work them with your spoon until the crumbles have come apart.

3.  Add the tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

4. My favorite part – add the beer!  Use the liquid to deglaze the pan.  Also add the beans and the tomatoes.  Stirring occasionally, allow the chili to simmer over medium heat for about 40 minutes, until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste during this time.

5. Heap some chili into your bowl and top with your favorite chili toppings.

Enjoy!

16 Responses to Meaty Vegan Chili

  1. nobacon says:

    Thanks for the great vegan recipe! I think cracking open that 3rd bottle to enjoy is essential while cooking! 😀

  2. delicious looks wonderful lovely chilli

  3. Amalia says:

    This looks super good! I think the beer is a great idea and adds tons of flavor 🙂

  4. Awesome idea to add beer to the chili!i am always on the lookout for great Lenten recipes. I also use the crumbles. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sadly, I’m pretty sure this past game took us out of the playoffs entirely. I mean, there’s still a pretty slim chance, but I have very little faith that the birds can pull it off. So much for the Dream Team…

    Anyway, glad you like the recipe!

  6. Peggy says:

    Oh yay! A fellow Eagles fan – I’m sure we’ll pull it together eventually… hopefully in time for the playoffs =) This chili sounds great!

  7. Kimber says:

    Normally I’m not too fond of vegan recipes but this looks amazing! And you had me at beer …

  8. Baker Street says:

    Beer! Wow! That’s a great idea I say!

  9. Beer in chili, awesome!

  10. This chili certainly looks yummy! This recipe looks like a nice way to make a healthy chili that taste good. Looking forward to seeing more of your vegetarian recipes.

  11. Kim Bee says:

    Mmm, chili. Nothing better than a mice bowl of chili. And vegan too which is always a plus. Great recipe, wonderful pictures.

  12. @ Jen – don’t be scared of vegan recipes! I promise they can be great!

    @ Professor Vegetable – I’m so happy to hear you like my recipes. Thanks so much for following!

  13. Meaty vegan chili looks great! I have been loving your recipes.

  14. This sounds really good. I am always a little hesistant about vegan recipes for some reason, but I think I could really get into this one. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Beer in food is always a winner in my book. I love the idea of using veggie-burger crumbles. I’ve only done tempeh in the past. Will try this next!

  16. Interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever tried a beer-chili! Sounds like I should, though 🙂 Looks warming and hearty and perfect.

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