Vegan Bean and Vegetable Chili

vegetarian-chiliI don’t use meat substitutes much. The vast majority of the meat substitutes that I’ve seen include gluten for texture, stretch and bulk. We recently happened upon some gluten free, tinned vegan chili which my husband loves for chili cheese fries, but it doesn’t have anywhere near enough vegetables in it for my liking. Yes, I know! Chili cheese fries is an indulgence, not a health food ….. but here we can leave the indulgence for the potatoes, and the chili can be loaded with veggies and fiber, and just look and taste the part.

I also know that Textured Soy/Vegetable Protein has a bad name. Somewhere in the dim and distant past I read about it containing chemicals that you don’t really want to be eating, so we haven’t had it. Upon a more recent review, however, I found that the chemicals are indeed used in the standard version of TVP (apparently removed before it’s sold …. uh huh), but the organic stuff doesn’t even get a whiff of those chemicals in the first place. Yes, it is more expensive, but if it means I’m happy we can eat it and I can widen the variety of food stuffs that I can eat, and I have yet another way to present veggies to my kids, then that’s the price I pay.

Serves 6-8

1 cup organic TVP/TSP
1 tbsp mushroom powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oil/margarine
1/4 of a large onion (1/2 cup), diced
1 lb mixed vegetables cut into <1″chunks (e.g. pepper strips, mushroom chunks, courgette/zucchini slices – quartered, tiny broccoli/cauliflower florets)
1 fresh jalapeños, finely minced or 1 tsp chili flakes
1 large clove garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp lemon juice
~14 oz diced tinned tomato in juice (this won’t look enough to start off with)
2 tbsp tomato paste OR minced sun-dried tomatoes
8 – 16 oz cooked, drained, pinto or black beans

Put the TVP, mushroom powder, and salt in a bowl, and stir in 1 cup of boiling water, and leave it to soak.

In a large pan, heat the fat and fry the onion and any hard vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower) for 5-10 minutes.

Once the onions have softened, add the garlic, and spices to them, and heat through for a few seconds, then add the remaining vegetables (except tomatoes) and cook for another 5-10 minutes until they too have started to soften.

Add the TVP, lemon juice, tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the juice has thickened and the TVP has browned slightly.

Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve in flat breads, with rice, crusty bread, jacket/baked potatoes, or (of course), chunky cut potato fries/chips and a sprinkling of vegan cheese.

Advertisements

…. How it all started.

Hi! Welcome to my blog. I’m Sarah. I’m a Brit living in southern California with my husband and two daughters, and I have been fascinated with cooking ever since someone gave me my first cookery book when I was 17.

I’m vegetarian by choice (I turned vegetarian in the late 80s when I left home, and started to cook for myself). About 5 years ago, I realized that I had “issues” when I ate cheese; about 3 years ago I realized that my problems were related to dairy fat (my main source of fat at the time), not just any dairy, so my problem wasn’t with lactose (which is a sugar); and when I looked into that, the penny dropped with respect to gluten.

I’m now mostly symptom free, and determined to be able to cook everything that I used to be able to cook.

Note that although I’m a Brit, I live in America, and I cook with American units of measure. In England, there are 20 fluid ounces to the pint (which weighs 1.25 lbs), but in America, there are 16 fluid ounces to the pint (which weighs 1.0 lbs). I also use cup measures for many things because it’s faster. However, when baking with gluten free flours, I highly recommend using scales which are far more accurate and consistent. Conversely, the American cooks’ standard use of measuring spoons for teaspoons (1, 1/2, and 1/4) and tablespoons is invaluable when flavoring recipes with miso or nori etc., or using xanthan gum, which many gluten free baking recipes require.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have enjoyed them.