So… Did you know that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month? October 1st is actually World Vegetarian DAY - and of coarse, since we’re talking vegetarian (& since eggs, dairy & cheese is included in the vegetarian diet) there’s NO excuses to not do your part for the Earth by saying no to meat for ONE day! YOU CAN DO IT!! Hopefully you will want to shoot for all 30 nights of meat-less meals (or more)!!
I have been wanting to share this recipe for a while, which is (like all of my recipes) 100% vegan. I have had many rave reviews on my vegan chili and I hope I can add yours to my comments below! Did I mention that my kids really love it too?! They usually arent crazy about spicy stuff, but they make an exception for this mildly spicy delicious chili!
I like using Lightlife Smart Ground in my chili, but there are many different kinds of vegetarian crumbles you can find in the grocery store! Look in the freezer section if you can’t find it by the tofu. (Boca makes frozen crumbles but they may contain eggs if I recall correctly… that is also typical of Morningstar Farms varieties. (Unless you are vegetarian, look for the vegan symbol on the box.) Get one or two boxes depending on how “meaty” you like your chili!
~Rita’s Vegan Chili~
First, crumble and brown the “meat” in a non-stick pan in a little olive oil. (I don’t even know if this step is really necessary, but for some reason, I always felt weird about just dumping it into the pot… but since there’s no chance of e-coli or anything, you could honestly probably just do that & save a step if you wanted!)
- 2 packs of Lightlife smart ground (or “mock-crumbles” of choice)
Saute everything in a little olive oil and combine it with the “meat” in a large stockpot – or the biggest pot you have!
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
Stir in all other ingredients and cook until heated through!
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans, rinsed & drained (or you bump it up to 3 cans of red kidney beans)
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 Tbsp each oregano, basil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar
Cover and simmer. The longer it cooks together, the better the flavor! Top with soy cheese & vegan sour cream if desired! Serve with crackers or cornbread (my personal fave)! This chili also freezes great!
OPTIONAL: You can even add 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup each chopped carrot, celery, or corn to the mix to throw in some more veggies, but allow some extra cooking time to soften those carrots!