Vegetarian Chili



Chili has long been a favorite meal of families. It is satisfying, cost-efficient, forgiving and easily frozen and warmed. Whats not to like? There are chili recipes that are full of beans, or meat or mostly broth. You can top with cheddar cheese, onions, cilantro, spaghetti or sour cream. How ever you like your chili there is a recipe for you.

When you decide to eat meatless and go vegetarian do you really have to give up this sumptuous comfort food? In a word NO!

There are several very good recipes for people who choose not to eat meat or who dont include dairy products in their diet. One very good rule of thumb to follow is that using meat substitutes may be disappointing. They dont have the same flavor and texture as meat and unless you use them because you like them its better just to leave them out. They change the flavor of the food and will never really be meat.

Instead aim for a taste and flavor in your vegetarian chili that is different from the standard fare without trying to make the meal identical to a recipe you once loved. This holds true for any recipe you are converting to a meatless fare. And the second rule is to always use quality ingredients. The food is only as good as the ingredients that are used. This is especially true now that there isnt the overpowering taste of animal protein in the meal.

There are options for your vegetarian chili with which you can experiment. In the spice department you can add different spices such as Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, basil, garlic, oregano, cumin, or chocolate! One of the favorite chili establishments in Cincinnati OH, known for their chili, uses chocolate to flavor the food.

When you are experimenting with the vegetarian chili you can also change up the ingredients. Try different types of beans, or vegetables such as pepper (green, red or yellow), zucchini (added just before serving and cant be frozen since it turns to mush), fresh tomatoes, or corn. Use V-8 juice instead of tomato juice.

The possibilities are limited by only your imagination!

My Favorite

1 tbsp of olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 large chopped onions
3 cans kidney beans
3 cans black beans
3 cans dark chili beans
1 large can tomato juice
1 can tomato soup
1 jar salsa
1 small can chopped mild jalapeno peppers
Chili powder to taste
2 tsp cumin

Heat the olive oil and lightly saut onions and garlic. Add the tomato juice, tomato soup, one can tomato soup water; drain all the beans and add them. Add the Chili powder and cumin. Simmer the soup for at least 1 hour and then add the jalapeno and salsa approximately 20 minutes before serving.

Vegetarian Chili

1 c chopped green pepper
1 c chopped onion
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. oregano
3 tbsp. butter
2 (10 1/2 oz.) cans condensed vegetarian vegetable soup
1 soup can of water
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tbsp. sugar
2 (16 oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pepper and onions with chili powder and oregano in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients except beans and cheese. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Add beans; heat. Top with cheese just before serving.

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