Vegan chili in constant revision

  • Currently 4/5
Trying to fine-tune this recipe as it does look nice with the red of the red bell peppers, the 3 different beans and the yellow of the corn but need to punch up the flavor a bit.

In order to balance the liquid content of the chili, allow more of the steam to get out by either just partially covering the pot or cover it only part way through cooking time, say only at the beginning but not at the end.

yields: 8 servings
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, roasted and chopped (seeded to reduce heat)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped (seeded to reduce heat)
2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles [optional]
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup dried kidney beans, cooked and drained
1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans, cooked and drained
1/2 cup dried black beans, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon adobo sauce, or to taste
1 cup whole kernel corn (frozen if fresh not possible)
1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
salt and sugar to taste
Special equipments
large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot
slow cooker [optional]
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and season with cumin, coriander, oregano and cayenne pepper.
2. Cook and stir until onion is softened and beginning to brown, then mix in the bay leaves, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and chipotle chile.
3. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer 5 minutes.
4. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans and adobo sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Adjust seasoning with adobo, if necessary.
6. Add salt and/or sugar to adjust seasoning. add wine and simmer for another 45 minutes. add cilantro for garnishing and also a bit of fresh flavor.
-roughly, 1 15-oz can of beans = 1 1/2 cup of cooked beans = 1/2 cup of dried beans. Save 1 cup of cooking liquid to adjust for potential dryness of chili.
-roasting adds a nice smoky flavor and also caramelizes the natural sugars in the peppers for sweetness.
-try tofu which has been frozen in lieu of the vegetarian burger crumble as frozen tofu has a crumbly texture when thawed. fry or bake to a light golden brown before adding to chili OR add as you are sauteing onions and spices to better infuse spice flavors OR leave it out as beans add enough "meatiness"...w/o the meat.
-try adding pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. results?
-substituted chili powder (roughly chile, with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, ground cumin and salt) with adobo sauce (chiles, garlic, onions, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and spices; recommend adding sugar to balance out vinegar) which has a strong smoky flavor.
-get the Dark Red variety of kidney beans rather than the Light Red as they have a brighter color and a thicker skin, so will hold shape better. Some argue that Dark Red has a heartier flavor.
-after sauteing vegetables and vegetarian crumble on the rangetop, toss everything into a slow cooker and let it simmer overnight for breakfast chili or during the day, for an "instant" hot meal for dinner.
-serve with cornbread or corn tortilla chips

adapted with changes (with the help of Cook's Illustrated) from:
Meal   LunchDish   Main Dish
Cooking Method   Slow CookerMain Ingredient   Beans/Legumes
Prep Time   15 to 30 minutesCooking Time   2 hours
Features   Dairy-Free, Low-Calorie, Low-Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wheat/Gluten-Free

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