Saturday, December 15, 2012

imaginary chili

I never ate chili until I stopped eating animals.

To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever eaten chili I didn't make.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of vegan chili recipes - I'm pretty sure I have over 20 among my various cookbooks and I've made at least half of them.  Our reigning favorite continues to be a Sarah Kramer recipe, which isn't surprising considering her husband approaches recipe taste-testing with trepidation, telling her that he gets nervous because he thinks she got it right the first time and will never make a better recipe than her original.

Mister has no problem favoring one of her later chili recipes... or her Shepherd's Pie recipe.... or one of the few recipes where he will actually isolate the spice-coated tofu and eat it without other things to distract him.  Let's just say Sarah's a favorite around here.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of my newfound poverty and desire to use all the extra time I just got in place of a paycheck, I have created my first (and possibly last) chili recipe.  It was fine, but I just couldn't be confident about it with so many great recipes jeering from the cookbook shelf, waiting for me to fail.  Mister supported my effort, encouraging me when I said I was just going to put a bunch of stuff in a pot and see what happened, saying "That's how chili works!"

Mister liked it at least enough for 2 bowls, so my made-up-as-I-went-along chili couldn't have been bad!

Imaginary Chili
6 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed/minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 generous tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 small green bell peppers, diced
3-4 small carrots, sliced
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 cups corn
15 oz beans (I used pinto, you could use black beans if you wanted)
1 and 1/2 Tofurky Italian Sausages, quartered lengthwise and sliced.  Or dice them, whatever.
28 oz diced tomatoes
12 oz crushed tomatoes

Heat the olive oil over medium-low, then add green peppers and garlic.  Stir well and allow to saute for about 10 minutes - lower the heat to low if necessary to prevent burning and stir occasionally.  While the peppers and garlic saute, slice your carrots and zucchini and measure out your corn.  If you have some leftover time, you could even rinse your beans!

After 10 minutes, add carrots and zucchini, stir well and cover.  Saute 5-7 minutes until you can see the zucchini beginning to "wilt."  Sprinkle on the chili powder, salt, and paprika, then stir well so that all of the vegetables are coated.  Add the diced and crushed tomatoes, beans, corn, and tofurky sausage.  Stir very well to ensure everything is mixed up, including distributing the spices, then cover.

Allow chili to simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Sprinkle in the vinegar, stir again, then cover again, lower the heat to the lowest setting and allow to simmer another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

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