Friday, March 11, 2011

Lenten Friday: Chili for a Chilly Day

Chili is something I usually make with beef, though recently I made a batch with chicken for a cook-off. But I wanted to see if I could make a good -- no, a really good -- vegetarian version, one I would actually want to make again.

This was rather a daunting task, I have to admit; vegetarian chili doesn't have a particularly stellar reputation. Lots of beans, some lentils ... these are the standard ingredients. But I wanted something to replicate the heartiness of the meat ... hmmmm. Good thing I live very close to Trader Joe's, which not only has the infamous Two-Buck Chuck wine, but also a two-buck soy chorizo, too!

Now since this was an experiment, I was only hoping to find the pseudo-soy stuff to be edible; anything more would have vastly exceeded my expectations. And yet, it looked meat-like! It smelled good! It had some, if not quite enough, zing! I cooked it up, and then proceeded to add the rest of my ingredients.

And ya know what??? It was a great chili! I've gotta say, it really was. Jeremy -- my consummate carnivore -- actually liked it and asked for more ... wow. I've eaten it straight, with sour cream, used it as a dip for corn chips, plopped some guacamole on top ... no matter what, it's good. I'm quite pleased with myself!

So my hope -- not a promise, but I'll at least make a good effort at it -- is that this chili is the first in a series of vegetarian posts for Fridays during Lent, when Catholics are forbidden to eat meat.

Because so many people resort to fish as a meat substitute, a lot of folks think that eating fish is required -- uh uh. Meat is forbidden, but you can eat anything else. And I'm here to try to liven up the menu a bit, and steer everyone clear of the ubiquitous fish sticks served with macaroni and cheese.


Vegetarian Chili

1 12-ounce package soy chorizo (from Trader Joe's)
4 scallions, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
generous splashes of Tabasco
1 16-ounce container fresh salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups pre-soaked or canned beans
1 cup corn
1 cup vegetable stock

In a large saucepan, cook the crumbled chorizo over medium heat. Add the scallions and onion and red pepper flakes; saute until the onion is translucent.

Add the tomato sauce, Tabasco, salsa, chili powder and salt; bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat back to medium. Add the beans, corn, and vegetable stock; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Chili, of course, is best if left for a day or so for the flavors to develop.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, corn chips, guacamole ... whatever strikes your fancy!


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Unknown said...

Mary, how is it that you can make me, a true carnivorous soul, want a huge bowl of vegetarian chili?? YUM! I have never saved a vegetarian chili recipe before...bookmarking it as we speak!!

Hello I'm Lala! said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hi!!
I found you on Social Parade and am a new follower. Have a great weekend!!


Candace said...

That looks awesome, Mary! I've been trying to incorporate more meatless meals into our diet so this would be perfect. I will have to look for the soy chorizo! Surely I can find some outside of Trader Joe's?! Thank you for sharing your recipe! Have a wonderful weekend, Candace

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Yeah this sounds really good :) WAY better than fish sticks and mac & cheese :) Trader Joes has GOT to get out to Colorado soon, I'm so envious of you all that have one!

Cranberry Morning said...

I wish our Trader Joe's was closer than 2 hours away! Sounds like another great recipe, Mary. It really is a chili weekend.

Susie Buetow said...

Love it!! Stopping in to say HI! Susie - I really would love for you to be guest chef on my blog! Stop in.

keri said...

Great minds.... i just made my version of this yesterday... so good and so healthy. Been trying the Blog hops and you're right, they're worth the time.

you make me hungry, i'm leaving!


Karen Harris said...

This looks truly yummy Mary! I have a recipe for veggie chili but it has about a thousand ingredients so I don't make it much and I really should, it is worth the trouble. I have to admit though, I kind of like fish sticks and mac and cheese but don't tell anyone.

Linda and Kameo~ Blu Embellish said...

I love Chorizo,didn't know they had soy. Got to try next time.

We are new follower from social parade. Please stop by our blog. Have a great weekend !

Miriam said...

Okay, now I've got to go out and buy some of that soy chorizo!! I've been wondering about it but havn't had the guts to try it yet :). Well done veggie chili!!
Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Sarah Knight said...

I am totally not a vegetarian, but that sounds interesting : )

Beth Zimmerman said...

I don't follow Lent personally but if I did ... I think I'd reach for the fish sticks! Sorry Mary! I have a strong aversion to beans, lentils, and soy! I love that my little Jewish friend is reaching out to her Catholic neighbors though!

Lesa said...

I've always wondered about those faux soy meats. Sounds pretty good-- I'll have to try it sometime. I love black beans and hominy in a rustic chili-- bet that would be good with the chorizo.

Unknown said...

I have tried out Italian Tofurkey hot dog and loved it.... I will try the Soy CHorizo Chili you have convinced me it is good---Look at that bowl of chili...Yumm!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

What a wonderful recipe for those of us who are reducing their meat consumption in Lent or for whatever reason. Thanks for sharing last week on Fresh Clean and Pure Friday/Seasonal Saturday. I sure hope you can stop by with another linked post this weekend!

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