Chili

There is nothing quite as satisfying on some cold evenings as a bowl of good chili and a piece of cornbread to go with it.  This simple recipe doesn’t taste simple at all.  Grab a bowl and a spoon and dig in!

Chili

  • 3-4 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil or water
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans chili beans, undrained
  • 1 28-oz or 2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes, undrained (one may be zesty style) or crushed tomatoes
  • 10-16 oz. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. water (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Marmite or Vegex paste (optional, but really adds a lot of depth of flavor ~ if you prefer, add some South African Smoked Seasoning Blend and/or Spike to achieve that depth.)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt to taste
  • soy sour cream and vegan “cheese” to top each bowl as desired

Saute onions in olive oil or water until they lose their stiffness and relax onto the bottom of the pan, but not until they are completely soft.  (This leaves them with just a little bit of texture in the finished stew to contrast the soft beans and the crisp corn ~ for crispier corn, add it just a couple of minutes before serving.  This both cooks the corn just enough to leave it crisp, and cools the chili a tad so that it doesn’t burn your mouth when you chow down.)  Add garlic for about 1 minute.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer until spinach is tender.  Serve with soy sour cream and/or non-dairy cheese.

Quick Bean Dip

Fast food.  Some days you just need the availability of a quick meal.  A drive-thru sounds so easy and helpful, but doesn’t exist for vegans who want truly healthy foods to eat.  I have a solution for those busy days when you have little time to spend standing in the kitchen “slaving” over something healthy to feed your family.  Keep these ingredients in your cupboards on a stand-by basis for those crazy nights.

Unless you live next door to a restaurant, I can have this prepared and on the table by the time you can drive through the window during the supper rush at your local Mickey D’s (if you are willing to eat there) and get back.  Throw some veggie sticks, salad, or fruit onto the table with it and you’re ready to go!

Quick Bean Dip

  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • non-dairy cheese, shredded, such as Daiya or Vegan Gourmet (optional)
  • 2 cans of chili beans (do not drain)
  • 1 can refried beans

Pulse the olives in a food processor until they are small pieces, or put them in a 2-qt. bowl and mash with a potato masher into little pieces.  Shred the “cheese” if using, or use pre-shredded.  Stir all ingredients together in the 2-qt. bowl and heat in the microwave while you set the table and put out the fresh veggies, salad, or fruit you are serving with it.  (Some non-dairy cheeses don’t melt very much, but do add to the taste of the finished dish.)  Serve with corn chips (organic, if you can, to avoid any GMOs) or spread onto and roll up in tortillas.  Leftovers make a good sandwich filling with a little ketchup or vegan mayonnaise.

You can spice things up a bit with some salsa, guacamole, and/or soy sour cream.

This serves enough for a party, or to fill 2-3 hungry teenaged boys.  You can use just one can of chili beans to make the dish smaller.