Wednesday, October 28, 2009

High Protein Vegan Chili

I'm back!

I made this vegan chili on Sunday. This was probably the first time in weeks - literally weeks - that I turned on the stove. For the last four weeks, I've been coming home from work at around 7:30 p.m., nuking grab-and-go vegan prepared meals from the local organic grocery store, and then resuming work until about 11:30 p.m.

This past weekend, though, I was really craving for something home cooked. This chili recipe comes from the wonderful cookbook, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, by Jack Bishop. My sister gave me this cookbook last year as a Christmas gift.

I ended up doubling the chili recipe. As a result, I ended up with way more chili that I expected and have been eating it for dinner the last four days. While the recipe suggests serving the chili with sticky rice, I've been serving it over pasta. This is the way I ate chili back in the days when I was a broke-ass student at the overly priced Boston College Law School. I lived on canned-chili-over-pasta during those three years - a hearty meal for under $3.

This chili, by the way, is pretty cost efficient to make. It's easy to prepare, high in protein (from the tempeh and red kidney beans), and delicious!

Vegan Chili
Serves approximately 4-6
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (I buy a small can of this brand)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 8-ounce packages of tempeh (I used Organic Garden Veggie Tempeh)
  • 2 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, raised and drained
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Amstel light)
  • Lime wedges for garnish (I skipped)
In a dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions become soft, about 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Next, add the garlic, chipotle chili, adobo sauce, the dried spices and continue cooking, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes.

Using your fingers, crumble the tempeh into the pot. Add the beans, tomatoes, beer, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue simmering until the chili is thick, about 30 minutes. Add additional salt, to taste, and serve.

As most of you probably already know, homemade chili tastes even better the next day. In this case, the sauce thickens overnight and the tempeh continues to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Yum!