I love chili. I especially love it during the fall and winter seasons when it’s cold outside. It is quick, easy and versatile – I usually end up adding whatever vegetables that are left over from the week into the pot! Although I have enjoyed (vegetable-only) vegetarian chili before, I’m primarily a “chili con carne” type of gal. I would rather have vegetables than meat substitutes. I just don’t like soy and tofu replacements for meat. When friends have tried to feed me chili with meat substitutes in the past, it hasn’t gone so well :-). All of that changed with my friend Liz’s chili…
Liz had prepared two different chili dishes (a meat one and a vegetarian one) for a gathering of friends at her home. I mistakenly took the vegetarian one and gobbled it up. I could barely believe her when she made me aware of my “mistake”. It was SO good! (I wasn’t the only one who was shocked. It really was THAT good.) She showed me the soy protein package that she used and I bought it at the grocery store. I am not vegetarian, but with meat substitutes like this, it’s no longer out of my realm of possibility. I used my chili recipe substituting the meatless ground for ground turkey meat. It was a hit! If I wouldn’t have said anything, no one would have known that it wasn’t meat. I have no relationship with Yves Veggie Cuisine at all. I just think that their meatless ground product is the best!) Try it with your family. I bet you that they won’t guess the “secret”…until you tell them!
I loved this recipe so much that I used it as my first installment on a new weekly cooking show that I’m doing over on MomTV. It’s called “Foodie City Mom Cooks“. In it, I (and my guests) will teach viewers how to cook seasonal and popular recipes. Guests will include my family and friends, celebrities and chefs in NYC. What I learned from this first show is that I’m going to have to do my videos when someone is around to videotape me. That…and my kids are crazy (in a good, funny way)!
Vegetarian “Chili con Carne” Surprise
-1 12 oz pack Yves Veggie Cuisine meatless ground
-1 cup chopped onion
-2 cloves of chopped garlic
-1 cup chopped green pepper
-1 cup chopped red pepper
-1 15.5 oz can or freshly cooked black beans (don’t drain them)
-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
-8 oz can tomato sauce
-2 tbsp chili powder
-Seasonings to taste (I use seasoned salt, black pepper, ½ a packet of onion soup mix, & oregano)
1. Place the meatless ground, chopped vegetables and seasonings in the slow cooker. Mix everything together and cover the slow cooker with its lid. Set the temperature to low and the timer to four hours. Press “Start”.
2. That’s it! After the four hours are up, you can sample your chili to make sure that the seasonings are to your taste. If not, you can add more seasoning and stir everything together.
Do you use meat alternatives? If so, what are your favorite brands?