Vegetarian Chili

4 Oct

So many veggie chili recipes to choose from. This one is from the Frog Commissary Cookbook, which I borrowed from Debby (my sister’s mother-in-law) and was apparently all the rage in the 80’s. The recipe intrigued me because it contains bulgur wheat- which is sort of all the rage now.  Unlike other vegetarian recipes, you don’t feel like you are missing anything here- the bulgur gives the heartiness and even the appearance of meat.  Unconvinced, I tried to un-vegetarian it and add a couple of turkey sausages I had in my freezer- but honestly– I could barely taste it- and would just as soon leave out again next time. Could it be the meat was just not necessary?  Color me impressed.  As Frog Commissary says, don’t be intimidated by this long list of ingredients- they are all pretty basic and you probably have a good deal of them already. By the way- chili is one of those things- that the leftovers taste even better. And don’t forget to top w. some shredded cheddar.

*Note- I made again- as totally vegetarian- so good! seriously no meat required

1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots (3 carrots maybe)
3/4 cup chopped celery (a couple stalks)
2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped green pepper (1 large)
1 chopped and seeded jalapeno [original recipe called for 2 tablespoons chopped canned green chilis or to taste]
2 cups sliced mushrooms (12 white mushrooms)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
if you require even more heat, you can add a small pinch of cayenne

2 cups chopped tomatoes (5 plum) *Note- I used a 28oz can of San Marzano tomatoes which come in tomato juice as substitute for the chopped tomatoes and tomato juice. I was a bit more heavy handed on the red wine to give a bit more liquid.*
1 25oz can of kidney beans, undrained (just pour out the top 1/5 of liquid)
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2  lemon)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup bulgar wheat
1/4 cup dry red or white wine
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce)
[I added a couple drops of liquid smoke- it is great for creating a smokey flavor- but watch out- it is very potent- find it in your grocery store near the Worcestershire]
[if you can’t bear the thought of no meat– add a couple links sausage, take out of their casing]

Have all your ingredients prepped. Heat oil in big pot. Add top list of ingredients into pot and cook on high for a couple minutes. [I added some time here, let veg at least onions soften] [Add meat, if using.] Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. [add more wine at any point if feel needs more liquid.] Then lower and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.  Original recipe ends there. Can keep simmering-covered.  (as i do) to soften the veg a little more- or deepen the flavors. But don’t stress- eat whenever you feel- or take out a bowl- and keep the rest on low for a little extra time.


5 Responses to “Vegetarian Chili”

  1. Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Can I just say that looks delicioso? Me volvería a comer 10 tazas de esta

    (who knew Anonymous speaks Spanish?)

  2. Phil October 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    looks delicious

  3. Debby February 11, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    Hi Tessa!
    Glad the book inspired you! The recipe sounds great ( of course I was intimidated so never made it myself!). Now that it’s on your blog, I’m going to try it because you make every recipe sound mouthwatering. Now to get Henry to eat it!


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