Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vegetarian Dinner: Vickie Howell's Vegetarian "Beef" Chili

I follow crafter and music-lover Vickie Howell on Twitter and I regularly read her blog. About a month ago, she posted a recipe for a vegetarian "beef" chili that uses the Morningstar Farms Grillers meat substitute. Though I was a vegetarian for quite awhile (maybe sometime I'll post about why I went back to eating meat in moderation, but not now), I've always been slightly afraid of meat substitutes. Over the years, I've come to really appreciate Morningstar Farms' Chik Patties, but I've never tried their meal starters. This recipe intrigued me. It is a familiar, comforting food using ingredients I've never used before. Though I'm cutting and pasting the recipe here, I strongly recommend you visit Vickie's website, especially if you're into knitting or crochet, and/or are interested in crafts for children. The recipe was originally posted on this post on her blog. I tweaked a few things (very minor, like using Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes instead of Rotel), my as-made recipe is below. I served it with a little shredded 4-cheese Mexican cheese over a homemade biscuit (I use the America's Test Kitchen "Mile-High Biscuits" recipe) and with roasted cauliflower on the side. I love that I'm going to have leftovers!!!!

1 bag Morningstar Farms Grillers ("beef" crumbles)
2 ~14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (if you can find them with chiles, you should use that
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15.5 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 11 oz can corn (I use the Green Giant Niblets)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Mayan onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup red wine (I used a Côtes du Rhône wine)
2 tsp cumin, plus a little more
2 Tbsp chili powder, plus a little more
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano, plus a little more
Pinch of Salt

In a slow-cooker, add garlic, chopped onion and bag of Crumblers. Cover with a layer of chili powder and sprinkle in cumin, oregano, and basil. Stir.
Add tomatoes, beans, and corn, including the liquid in the tomatoes and corn. Add tomato paste, wine, and ketchup. Stir.
Add a pinch of salt and a couple more shakes of cumin, chili powder and oregano.
Let cook on low for ~7 hours. Stir occasionally (if you're home), and add more spices, wine or ketchup to taste, if desired. Serve with shredded cheese and/or a starch of your choice.


Jim Wallace aka PCM said...

My meatless chili is very similar but for what it's worth I'd ditch the tomato paste and ketchup--which are just over cooked tomatoes with sugar-- and cook your own dried beans from scratch.

kristin said...

I don't know that I'd take out the tomato paste. I use a tomato paste that I really like and I think it does add a bit of extra flavor (the Amore sun-dried tomato paste). Ketchup, yeah, probably could've ditched it. I usually try recipes without modification the first time, then worry about changing them up.

Cooking dried beans from scratch is certainly something I might do in the future, but there is a definite time-savings with using high-quality canned. :)