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Veggies on Fire!

May 19, 2008

Chili Peppers, originally uploaded by Nathan Wells.


N. and I (J.) try to have one vegetarian meal per week, and this last week we decided to put some spice in out vegetables with a flaming-hot vegetarian chili. By flaming-hot, I mean that it is hot in the way that Indian food is hot. So hot, in fact, that you just don’t miss the meat.

We actually had to cut final product with about half a can of whole peeled, crushed tomatoes. Yes, I know: we’re weak. In our defense, I like fire in my food as much as the next person, but I don’t think that we’ll every get some of those taste buds back. But some of you guys may like it like that.

So, this is the actual recipe from Allrecipes, and I’ll go over the changes that I made at the end:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn


1) Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.

2) Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

Some changes we made:

We like carrot in our chili. Don’t ask me how we came by that one, we just did and we like it. So, I added one carrot, chopped.

We didn’t add the can of corn. Just seemed like over-kill.

Adding green chili’s would have been fine, but we didn’t have any, so I added some fresh-crushed red pepper.

For some reason, in our house, we can’t seem to keep the right amount of chili powder around, so I used the (almost) 1/4 cup of chili pepper (which was about 1 TBSP shy), and finished off the portion with chipotle chili powder. It might sound weird, but it really did work for me; it gives the chili some resonance – like napalm.

With the leftovers, we decided that we’d go ahead add some chicken that we pan fried in garlic and cooked in the oven, then hand shredded. That’s the great thing about something vegetarian like this: you can make it un-vegetarian very easily.

Give this a shot if you like hot stuff. I really don’t think that you’ll miss the meat.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2008 12:03 am

    I like carrot in my chili too…also in pasta sauce! I make a very similar recipe, except I skip the fake meat – my stomach doesn’t tolerate it. I’m always surprised how much I don’t miss meat when I make chili. I actually prefer it this way now.

  2. innercitygarden permalink
    May 20, 2008 3:49 am

    Chillis are quite variable in their hottness. You can follow the recipe precisely and get different results. Obviously packets of dried/powdered chilli products tend to be pretty consistent though.

    A quarter of a cup does seem like quite a lot. And I like curry!


  1. fried green tomatoes recipe

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