It is COLD outside and I need some HEAT! And when it is chilly out, homemade chili always does the trick to warm me back up. There is nothing better than smelling this chili cooking, except eating it, of course. The more it cooks, the deeper the color and flavors become, making for a dish worth waiting for. Also, this is a pot full of healthy ingredients, so eat up!
When I stopped eating meat several years ago I vowed to keep making dishes that evoked comfort and versatility. Fortunately vegetarian ingredients have come a loooong way from sausage in a can. Similar to my Stuffed Peppers, I use Lightlife soy crumbles in this recipe to appeal to meat eaters (it’s seriously difficult to tell the difference from ground meat). And I’m happy to say that my meat-eating boyfriend loves this recipe. I also use lots of spices to deepen the flavor, including smoked paprika; the Savory Spice Shop sells this if you’d like to give it a try. This is a perfect dish for game-day, holidays, or just a brisk fall evening.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper OR 3 banana peppers, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 – 12 oz. package of Lightlife soy crumbles, or 12 oz. of ground meat
- 1 – 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 – 15 oz. cans beans (I used pinto and kidney)
- 1 – 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika is also fine)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the soy/meat and stir to cook through. Once cooked, add the tomatoes (with liquid), beans (with liquid) and sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add the spices and broth. Once the mixture is bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The chili will have thickened and become a darker red/brown color.
- Serve in bowls and add desired toppings. Some suggestions include shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt and sliced avocado. You can also serve the chili over rice or quinoa. Makes 8 good-sized bowls of chili.