How to Make a Vegetarian Chili Con-carne

I made a great smoothie for breakfast this morning, it was icy cold from the frozen fruits and filling from the oats, just thought that I had to share because I’m sure you’ll be dying to try making this too. 🙂

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Guess who consumed that giant tumbler of smoothie? :mrgreen:

So let’s backtrack to yesterday night when I made chili con carne, this is the purpose of today’s post after all.  I’ve raved about this chili recipe many times on the blog, so let’s do a walkthrough on how I make this yummy chili con-carne, complete with corn bread, tortilla chips and yogurt!

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So let’s get to it..

First you have to gather all the ingredients, because once you start cooking, you’ll have to move pretty fast so that your veggies and herbs won’t get burnt!

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You’ll need a HUGE can of crushed tomatoes (or about 3-4 cans of the small ones), 1 can of black beans, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of chickpeas and 1 can of whole kernel corn.

In the spice department, you’ll need Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, or any other cocoa powder that you have, but make sure it’s unsweetened, bay leaves, ground cumin, Mexican chili powder (you can get this at almost all supermarkets at the spice aisle), and oregano.

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Next, chopped up all the veggies which you’ll need for this recipe.

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onion, garlic, 2 medium green bell pepper and celery.DSCN2464

Also chop up some green chili and jalapeno peppers, I didn’t have fresh jalapeno, so I used the pickled kind.

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Pickled jalapeno (please ignore that ghastly fingernail, no idea who it belongs to)

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So once we have all the veggies chopped, we can move on to the stove.

Saute garlic and onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil on low fire.

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Once it’s softened and slightly brown, throw in the TVP.  Before you can use the TVP for cooking, you have to soak it in some water for about 1/2 hour to soften it up.  This is a great substitute for vegetarian type recipes that requires minced meat in the meat based recipes like lasagne or bolognaise.  Once soaked, drain off the water and use it for cooking.

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So here it is in the pan.

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Saute this for about 15 to 20 minutes on low fire under slightly browned.

On the other stovetop, heat up a large deep pot with some olive oil, then saute garlic and onion for about 2 minutes.

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Then get your spices and other chopped veggies ready, once the onion and garlic is soft, add in the peppers, celery and the spices.

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Ground cumin about 3 tbsp, 1 tbsp of oregano, Mexican chili about 3 tbsp (depending on the level of spiciness that you want) 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Saute for a few more minutes, and then cover with a lid on low fire for about 5 minutes.

Next, add in the TVP which you have sauteed earlier into the veggie mix and stir to mix thoroughly.

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Once that’s done, add the tomatoes and beans (except for the whole kernel corn), remember to drain the liquid from the cans of beans before putting the beans into the pot.

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Canned tomatoes tend to have a “raw” tangy taste if you don’t cook it long enough and let the flavour seep into the veggies and beans.  So once you have added all the tomatoes and beans, give it a stir and cover to cook for about 45 minutes on low fire.

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At around 40 minutes, add in the whole kernel corn, and at this time, taste it and add whatever spices needed to your taste.

And lastly the cocoa powder, about 1 tbsp.  This is a trick that I learnt from the chili con carne forum (still can’t believe there is a forum dedicated to chili!) and it’s not part of the original recipe, this cocoa will help accentuate the flavor of the spices+veggies+beans, so don’t be afraid to add some, it will not turn out chocolatey, I promise, but make sure that you are using unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or so and voila!

I also made corn bread so serve with the chili but have forgotten to take the end result. 😦

It is pretty easy to make, and I will share the recipe with you the next time when I actually will remember to take some pictures!

So there you have it, a yummy bowl of chili, always make this in big quantities and freeze it for a weeknight quick dinner.

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Adios!

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