For a long time I had mixed feelings about chili. I don’t care for kidney beans. Sometimes people put mushrooms in their chili, and mushrooms happen to be one of the few things that I REALLY don’t like. I’m a bit picky about my ground beef. But one of the glorious things about making things yourself is you can do it how you like it. I usually make chili with stew beef rather than ground beef, but though I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I have been inspired to make more plant protein based meals. This chili is a riff on something between my regular chili, and the chili mac from Thug Kitchen 101. It is vegan as long as you stick to vegan ‘toppers’ to finish.
You will need:
- 2 tbsp safflower or olive oil
- 1 onion chopped (I often use red onion, but yellow onions work fine)
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 large stalk of celery (or two small)
- 1 jalapeño finely minced (use half if you are cautious about the heat, it is always easier to add more than to try and adjust it if you’ve made it too hot for your taste)
- 2-3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups (500ml) of a plain tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes (I usually use my ones I canned from my garden until I run out!)
- *2 tbsp (30 ml)- 1/2 cup tomato paste the amount of tomato paste needed will depend on the tomato sauce you use and whether you used just canned tomatoes or an actual sauce
- 1 can of beer
- 2-3 cups (750ml) of vegetable broth (start with 2, add more water if needed for the pasta to cook)
- 3 cups of small pasta (about 240g) (today I used a tri-colour rotini, but I also love small shells for this)
- 1 can (540ml 19 fl oz) of black beans, rinsed
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lime juice + zest from one lime
- any or none of the following to finish – cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado, lime wedges, additional jalapeño. This dish is vegan as long as you stick to vegan add ins.
In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp oil and chopped onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until veggies are fragrant and getting tender. Add garlic, coriander, cumin and paprika and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, veggie broth, and beer. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add pasta, cover and cook until pasta is a bit before al dente. The amount of time here will depend on the size of your pasta, but about 7 minutes should probably do it. Add lime juice and zest, maple syrup and tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve topped with any or none of the the suggested toppings. Do you have any toppings you love for chili that aren’t mentioned here?