As a general rule we eat a vegetarian diet (well, technically a pescatarian diet). And while we have never been huge lovers of red meat, there are times we crave certain foods – like chili! So, this past week my husband went in search of a vegetarian chili recipe. I can feel the skepticism as a type! We made this for friends on Friday; the entire pot was devoured. It was so good that I asked my husband to make it again yesterday! Vegetarian or not, this chili is a winner in my book. Let me know what you think.
The original recipe came from here and we doctored it to our own taste and liking. I’m going to warm up leftovers now…
4 T olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t paprika
2 t oregano
1 1/2 t cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 t celery salt
1 1/2 t Tabasco (add more to taste)
2 T dark soy sauce (or 1 T Soy sauce and 1 T Worcestershire sauce if you are not concerned about it being vegetarian)
1 can tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 T tomato paste
1 cup bulgar wheat
1 pint beer
2 cups vegetable stock (plus 2 cups if letting simmer throughout the day)
1/2 t baking soda
roasted pepper puree (recipe here)
In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add spices, Tabasco, soy sauce, can of tomatoes, tomato paste and bulgar. Stir to combine. Add half of the beer and 1 cup stock. Stir, bring to boil then reduce heat to low simmer. Add remaining beer and stock as chili begins to thicken. After liquid is added, add baking soda, stirring well. DO NOT TASTE for 30 minutes!
Let chili sit on the stove on very low heat for several hours, adding more liquid as needed. We make it in the morning and let it simmer all day. Top with pickled jalapenos, grated cheese and pepper puree.
We served it over corn bread, ‘Arkansas Traveler’ style. Growing up my parents always referred to roast beef served over cornbread and topped with brown gravy as an Arkansas Traveler. Is any else familiar with this term?
We also suspect that this would be a good chili for Frito pies. Remember the school carnivals in the 70s when they served chili in the Fritos bag? However, given the lack of Fritos in Scotland, we have yet to try it out. But you can bet that I will be buying Fritos on my next trip to the States. This recipe is a work in progress, so suggestions are more than welcome!
Note the beans in the above photo. This would not be a Texas chili.
From the International Chili Society’s Judging Criteria:
Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS and PASTA which are strictly forbidden.
Chili Verde is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS and PASTA, which are strictly forbidden.
I’m not sure which is more astonishing; the fact that the International Chili Society has such an aversion to beans or that an International Chili Society exists. Oh what would they make of our bastardized vegetarian version!
top image Chris Carman
bottom image flickr