My chili recipe originally came from my mother, but her version contained some beef. I’ve adapted it over the years to suit my veggie tastes and generally only have it with beens as the protein. This time, I added some TVP for extra oomph.
It’s great on day one as chili, but it’s even better on day two and beyond!
2 lbs dried pinto, kidney, black beans or a mix 1-2 medium onions, diced 4 stalks celery, sliced thin 2 cups carrots, shredded or chopped 1 red pepper, diced 2-3 jalapenos, diced or sliced 1 large can crushed tomato 1-2 large cans diced tomato, drained 4-6 cups veg broth 2 cups TVP 3 T olive oil 6 T cumin 2 T chili powder 4 T annatto 6 T cocoa powder 3 T smooth peanut butter sea salt pepper
Sort and rinse beans and dice veggies. Put everything except the peanut butter in your pressure cooker, using only enough of the broth to cover the beans to the appropriate level. Seal and increase to high pressure, cooking for 25 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pressure to come back down. Unseal and taste test for seasoning. You may need to add more of the veggie broth if the chili is too thick for you. At that point, you continue to cook on a low simmer until everything is cooked to the extent that you enjoy. More cooking will break down the texture of the beans and thicken the soup into a more creamy consistency – which some people like. Less cooking will result in a chunkier chili. When you are within an hour of serving, add the peanut butter and stir in.
Each time you make this, it comes out differently based on how much of each thing you add, but it accommodates a lot of variation. Increase the PB & chocolate for a richer taste. Add more diced tomato for a chunkier chili. Put in extra veggies (zucchini, and eggplant are excellent, and squash adds a different flavor) for a little veggie boost. If you don’t have any fresh jalapenos in the house, this can be done with jarred peppers, or hot sauce.
Serve with sour cream and grated cheese (vegan or non) and crackers. This and a side salad makes a full and delicious high fiber meal!
1 cup dried TVP (rehydrated), browned Impossible meat, or other vegan meat substitute if desired.
Salt and pepper
Prepare pasta according to directions, very al dente! Rinse in cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
Drain tofu. Place in a large bowl and mash with fork or potato masher until the consistency of cottage cheese or ricotta. Add vinegar, nutritional yeast, and a little salt and fold in. Set aside.
Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, celery in olive oil until soft. Add tomato sauce, diced tomato, Italian seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and let simmer 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Add ⅓ of the sauce to the bottom of an 8×13 baking dish. Add a layer of ½ of the pasta. Add tofu mix in scoops and then use a spatula to spread across pan. Add ⅓ of the sauce over the tofu mix. Add the second half of the pasta in an even layer. If using meat substitute, add that here in an even layer. Add remaining sauce and vegan mozzarella.
Cover with lid or foil (I like to spray the foil with vegetable spray so it doesn’t stick to the vegan cheese). Bake for 40 minutes or until everything is hot and cheese is somewhat melted (to the extent that the brand you are using will melt).
I must admit that, while I do most of my meal planning on the weekend before I get groceries, there is almost always a day I forgot or I don’t want to make what was scheduled or I didn’t get enough of something.
On those days, the plan is as follows: Open the cabinet and stare inside. Open the fridge and stare inside. Start that process again but this time randomly pull things out and throw them on the counter. Stare at the pile of things for a while and then start prepping some of them, hoping that an idea will emerge.
And that is how this pasta bake was born. It doesn’t look very pretty, because baked pasta, but it tasted wonderful.
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can crushed tomato
1 lb wheat pasta
2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
1.5 cups TVP bits
2 cups water
2 T oregano flakes
1 T dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta, al dente. While pasta is cooking, preheat oven to 350*. Mix spices into crushed tomatoes and water. Fold in the yeast flakes and TVP. Gently combine all ingredients, including well-drained pasta.
Place in large baking pan and cook at 350* for about 45 minutes, or until all vegetables are done to taste.