I entered a chili contest at my Dad’s church, here is southern Arkansas, to raise funds for a mission trip- one that happens to be going where my sister, Kelsey, lives as a full-time missionary. So, this would be an amazing trip to help not only the school they work out and the children, but Kelsey and other missionaries there.
My dad was entering as well, and I know he is a great cook, but we are very competitive. So, I was going to make a chili so unique and so delicious that there was no way it wouldn’t win.
When I told my dad I was making it vegan (honestly because one of the most flavorful “meats” I have tasted have been a vegan “chorizo” and I thought that would be perfect in a chili!) he laughed and said no one at his church would like a vegan chili.
Well, I’m stubborn and did it anyway and it turned out great. It was not only one of the best chilis I have ever had, it also would fool any meat eater.
Needless to say, my dad was right. I heard so many people make comments like “If there isn’t meat in it, it isn’t chili” and “This one is great! Oh wait, what? Vegan? Gross!”. Or my favorite “I don’t care what’s in it, it is delicious!”.
My dad won first place, but to be fair, his chili was delicious! Just like I like it, so it was a well deserved win.
Though, I still had questions about what meat substitute I used and the recipe, so here it is, my losing vegan chili. =)
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-3 Field Roast Mexican Chipotle “sausages” (vegetarian)
-2 bags Boca Veggie Crumbles
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 orange bell pepper, chopped
-2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-8 ounces diced green chiles
-6 cloves garlic (6 tablespoons minced)
-1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons salt
-2 bay leaves
-1 teaspoon cayenne powder
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1 tablespoon cumin
-2 tablespoons chili powder
-1 teaspoon oregano
-4 tablespoons brown sugar
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar
-2 tablespoons Worcestershire
-2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
-1/2 cup 60%, or darker, dark chocolate chunks (I used Private
-2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
-1 can regular beer (not dark, not light)
-1/2 cup vegetable broth
-3 tablespoons masa
-1 can chili hot beans, drained, but not rinsed
-1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed.
-1 can black beans, rinsed.
1. Open and break up the chipotle “sausages” to resemble ground
2. In a medium-high heated pan, with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive
oil, add the veggie sausages, veggie meat crumbles, the chopped bell
peppers, jalapeños, dices green chiles, and onion. and sear until browned.
3. Add the minced garlic for only a couple minutes while everything
else is browning- garlic will burn easily.
4. Add all your seasonings and herbs and liquids: salt, bay leaves,
cayenne powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, oregano,
brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, soy sauce or
tamari, and dark chocolate. Then, adding your crushed tomatoes
5. In a separate cup, mix your veggie broth with the masa and add to
the chili. (This thickens the chili and gives a slight hint of corn flavor.
If you like runnier chili, feel free to leave this step out.) Stir well and
bring to a simmer. Then, lower heat to medium low, cover, and let sit,
stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes- 1 hour. You can go longer, if you
prefer it to break down even more.
6. At least 15 minutes before you serve, put your beans in. Feel free to
use any canned beans you like, I liked the variety. And drain any kind
except 1 can of chili hot beans- this gives the chili good flavor, imho.
You can add them earlier if you don’t mind them a little softer.
7. Always taste for any extra needed salt or spicy to make the chili
taste just the way you like. Add whatever toppings you prefer
(cilantro tastes great with this one) and enjoy!
Overall, the event was super fun with a great band, tons of chili and all the fixins and then more delicious desserts than I could eat. Good money was raised for a good cause and everyone had a great time. Good times!