Thursday, December 30, 2010

Meaty Meatless Chili

   I got really excited there for a minute because I thought this was the first totally vegan main dish I've done for the blog.  But after going through the archives I found that it is the second!  Thai coconut soup beat this one for the title.  However, this is the the first dish I have ever made where I was conscious about its veganism.  (You're welcome!)  I personally don't subscribe to vegan beliefs (obviously...) but I respect those who make the decision.  I love eating vegetarian meals a few times a week because 1) I am not the biggest meat fan in the world and I easily get bored with it, 2) it mixes things up, 3) you normally feel better about yourself if you eat a huge bowl of butternut squash soup instead of a steak.

   Even those this is vegan, you wouldn't know it.  The mushrooms and lentils give it a meaty texture and appearance.  But it is cheaper than ground beef and much better for you!  Everyone knows chili is super hearty but most people don't think of it as super healthy.  This will change your mind and it will please any chili lover!  (Except maybe some of those crazy,Texans....  The Texans in my family would love it though!)  Also, if you have someone in your house who doesn't like mushrooms, just don't tell them about it.  In this, they'll never know.
NOTE:  Many canned red kidney beans have sugar/high fructose corn syrup added.  These are not the beans you ever want to buy.  Canned organic kidney beans often don't have added sugar.  Also, canned red beans, which are very similar in texture and flavor to kidney beans don't have sugar.  And all cans used are ~14 oz.
Totally looks like there is meat in it, right?!

Meaty Meatless Chili
1/2 brown lentils (dried)
2 C water
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 lrg carrot, diced
4 oz baby bella or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 poblano pepper, minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 chipotle in adobo, minced (2 tsp chipotle puree)
1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 can black beans, lightly drained
1 can red beans, lightly drained
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley and lime wedges (optional)

   Rinse lentils and pick out any tiny rocks or bad looking beans.  Put lentils in cold water, bring to boil.  Reduce to med-low heat.  Cook for 30 minutes with lid slightly tilted.  Mash beans up a little with a spoon.  This can be done a couple days in advance.
   In 3 or 4 qt pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and carrots.  Saute until tender.  Add mushrooms, poblano, and jalapeno.  Cook about 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms lose a little moisture and start to brown.  Add garlic, toss around a little just to taste the raw edge off.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.
   Serve with parsley and lime wedges.
   Since this is a chili, it obviously gets better as it sits.  Make this two or three days ahead of time and it will just get better.
   Serves 5.

Per Serving:  Calories 240, Fat 2.4 g, Protein 14 g, Fiber 12 g,  (Total Carb: 40 g)
Daily Values:  Vit A 38%, Vit C 12%, Iron 22%, Calcium 6%
Total Ingredient Cost:  $6.30, and this may be an over estimate.  Depending on the brand of spices and canned goods, it may only cost ~$5.50.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I have a good vegan chili recipe too that uses soy crumbles - which have the same texture as ground beef and make it really hearty (I fooled my mom with it, she swore it was ground beef).

    xoxo ~ Courtney


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