Now that the nights are cooler and the barbecue is put away for the winter, it is the time we turn to comfort foods to fill us up. One of my “go to” recipes for the cooler evenings is this awesome vegan Chile recipe. Serve with a crisp side salad and some whole grain bread and you have yourself a very satisfying dinner without using meat. The tempeh works very well in chile as it crumbles like ground beef, and it soaks up all of the flavours of the spices. I make my chile in a crockpot in the morning and let it simmer all day long allowing the spices to meld together. Yummy.
1 pound of tempeh, steamed for 30 minutes then diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil (can use olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
2 green, red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
1 large zuchini diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 tablespoons chili powder (or more depending on your taste)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups red kidney beans, soaked and cooked, or 2 14 oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup black beans, soaked and cooked, or a 14 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup chickpeas, soaked and cooked, or a 14 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion, chopped peppers, mushrooms, zuchini and garlic. Cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add the diced tempeh and continue to cook uncovered another 5 minutes. Add chile powder, oregano and cumin. Stir in tomatoes, corn and beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil and then turn to low and let simmer for an hour OR place the mixture in your crockpot and let it simmer on low all day.
I like my chili a bit spicier so I add a tablespoon of dried red peppers.
If you are vegetarian you can certainly top each bowl of chili with grated cheddar cheese.
You can modify this recipe to suit your tastes. Chili is such a personal dish with so many variations. Experiment. Many different beans will work well too such as chickpeas or pinto beans.
You could easily serve this dish to your meat eating friends and they would never know that they were eating meatless chili. Trust me on this. I’ve done it…..