Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chilly Enough For Chili

Okay, okay, okay, so maybe it didn't snow,
maybe it just felt like it was going to. Do
you buy that?
Even Southern California gets cold. Stop laughing. Believe me, when your blood gets as thin as ours does, what with living in a temperate clime, when that thermometer hits sixty something, it's time to turn on the furnace and put on another sweater. Now add pouring rain into the mix, skies as dark as dusk, and clouds hovering low, and you have perfect chili weather. Just like today.

Wouldn't you know, my favorite recipe for this thick, watch a spoon stand up in the middle of the bowl, concoction isn't vegan. Yet I wondered if I could change things around a bit, delete a  little of that and add some of this. So I gave it a try. Doggone, it's every bit as good as my non-vegan recipe. I kid you not. I served the heady mixture in big, steamy bowls and sprinkled the top with vegan sour cream, minced green onions and Daiya cheese shreds. Corn muffins hot from the oven were my only side. I ate two. Since I was now too full  to move, I rolled myself into the living room, covered up with a favorite afghan, and laid on the floor to watch the Movie Channel.

Life doesn't get any better than that.

Vegan Chili for Chilly Weather

No vegan sour cream left for this photo-op.
We used it all during the actual eating.

Into a soup pot put:

2 Tbs. oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced, seeds and ribs removed
Cook until the onions are translucent, about five minutes.

Add to the pot:

1 14 oz. can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Cook everything together over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn it to low, cover, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. I let mine simmer an hour. If the chili is too soupy, remove the lid and continue cooking till the mixture thickens to your liking.

Serve with vegan sour cream, minced green onions, and vegan cheese shreds.


Perhaps I ought to warn you that this is a spicy chili. It won't make your mouth burn to eat it, but it you don't like any heat at all, leave out the jalapeno and the cayenne pepper. But be warned! You'll be turning a GREAT chili into a mediocre one.

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