While making my third giant pot of Chili this season, I’ve realized that my previous Chili Recipe isn’t entirely accurate. That just happened to be the recipe that I wrote down. Really, my chili is more like a cabinet stew. It’s my go-to winter staple that is full of beans, veggies, and seasonings. The only difference between this and my veggie stew is that instead of using whatever veggies are in season and making it up as I go (with a veggie broth base) – I use whatever veggies are cheap AND whatever beans I happen to have in my cupboard/look fantastic (with a tomato base). Really- anyone can make a mouth-watering vegan (or non vegan) chili with three simple ingredients: WASHED AND DRAINED beans and lots of them, lots of tomatoes, chili powder (or seasoning if you prefer). Once you have those three things, the sky is the limit.
I like making my chili based on what I’m feeling and what looks delicious. Sometimes I use different spices, add or take away veggies, use roasted tomatoes or spicy tomatoes – all just what sounds food to me.
For example- my last chili used the normal staple of beans plus black eyed peas, extra chili powder, liquid smoke, vegan Worcestershire sauce, fire roasted tomatoes and fire roasted red peppers, and I let the onion brown before adding anything else. Really gave it a smokey campfire feel and it had rather good reviews.
Tonight – I used the normal, but added some vegan bbq beans, extra spicy tomatoes, brown sugar, oregano, celery, 1 can tomato paste, sweet corn, sweet onions, yellow pepper, and some vegan bbq sauce (and took out the broth & water). It’s got a real sweet/spicy southern bbq flavor- and with the extra ingredients and taking out the liquids, it’s a real heavy chili that will taste delicious on these short days.
Just remember- as long as you have the basic ingredients- you can do whatever you want to make some really unique and awesome chili. Also- my basic chili recipe makes us dinner for about a week (8-10 meals) and tastes great even frozen and thawed (freeze single servings and thaw for 12 hours in fridge before microwaving). I’m planning on making another batch this weekend when we try our huge VEGAN BULK ONCE A MONTH COOKING experiment! I promise to blog about it! 😉
Also- just comment if you would like me to send you any other flavor combos I come up with.