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Veggie Chili Wars, Episode VI: Return of the TVP

O.K. So, yeah. Wow.  VegiChili1

The TVP in my chili worked last night bringing me from spastic Wookie noises the night prior to serenity in my cooking galaxy.

The recipe was inspiration, mostly of memory from the chili my ex would make, with some additional flourishes. Chiefly, I wanted to create an all vegan chili as I was entertaining a friend who is now eschewing dairy and meat. Plus, I wanted it to have some fresh dimensions so I created a spicy, parsley-pistou (cilantro would be nice, too, and more appropriate) that I dolloped atop the chili and gave the bowl a hearty spritz of fresh lime juice just before serving.   The pistou was very intense. I tried cutting the spice with a little honey. Next time, I’ll watch the serrano.

Sorry, Jon, for any pain the spice is causing today.

Chili can be such a hearty dish and its strength is in its robustness. However, I wanted to lighten it up a bit with some of these additions.
In the end, a rather tasty effort that I managed to complete in an hour. For an appetizer,  I found a few ripe avocados at the market which I mashed quickly, diced up a little red onion and garlic, a few chunks of minced parsley and some lime juice, salt and pepper. Voila. A quick guacamole.

What do you think?

Vegan Chili
Serves 8-10

2 spanish onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 dried ancho chili peppers, reconstituted, seeded and diced
1 fresh serrano chili pepper, diced (seed if you don’t want heat)
1 cup and a half of textured vegetable protein, reconstituted with boiling water
3-4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin powder (begin with this, add more as you cook if you feel the dish needs it)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder(begin with this, add more as you cook if you feel the dish needs it)
1/2 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds
2-3 tablespoons of silver tequila
2 28 oz can of whole, plum tomatoes (I use San Marzano), crush with your hands each tomato
2 small cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 small cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 small cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cups of vegetable stock
6 bell peppers (assorted colors, red, yellow, orange), seeded and cut into large chunks
2 limes
Pistou (see recipe below)

On high medium-high heat, cook the onions, garlic, ancho and serrano chilis in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook  for a cook 8-10 minutes.

Add cumin and chili powders, toasted cumin seeds and TVP. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Feel free to deglaze the pan with vegetable stock and/or tequila.

When a nice, dark color has developed, add the tomatoes, all of the beans and two cups of vegetable stock.  Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for a good 20-25 minutes until a bit reduced and thick.

Add the bell peppers and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.

Ladle chili in pre-warmed bowls, spritz with lime juice and dollop with pistou. Serve.


2 large bunches of flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
1 shallot, peeled
1 glove of garlic
1 serrano chili pepper
2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
Glug of extra-virgin olive oil

Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth. Done!

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