Thursday, March 26, 2009

Family Favorite Recipe - Country Chili in a Crock-Pot - Vegetarian

I have been making this chili for years! I found it in a book called "The TVP Cookbook" by Dorothy R. Bates that I picked up in an awesome health food store when we lived by Little Rock called "Beans & Grains & Things". This chili makes A LOT! It fills up my big crock-pot. The original recipe calls for cooking it on the stove, but I love having it cook all day so that the flavors can develop. I think that the TVP needs that, since it's basically flavorless. Simmering all day in a crock-pot full of yummy goodness could fool most meat-eaters. I'm guessing. lol It's been so long since I've had red meat, I don't remember what it tastes like in chili. But, either way, I have had friends try this chili who eat meat and they all loved it! If you have any questions, please ask. I make this totally different from the instructions in the book so I'm trying to remember how I do it step by step!

Country Chili-

2 cups boiling water
2 cups TVP flakes
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, or more or less to taste (the more the better!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayeen pepper
2 - 28 oz cans diced tomatoes (I use petite diced)
2 - 16 oz cans red beans - undrained (I sometimes substitute one can of the red beans for a can of Great Northern beans or black beans)
2 cups vegetable broth

1. Pour the boiling water over the TVP in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. In a large crock-pot, add the diced tomatoes and beans with their liquid. Turn crock-pot on to medium/low heat or 8-10 hour cooking time.
3. Over medium-high heat, saute the onions, green bell pepper and garlic until they soften. Remove from heat. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Put the onion mixture into the crock-pot with the tomatoes and beans and stir well. Add the rehydrated TVP and stir well.
4. Pour the 2 cups of vegetable broth into the pan that you were sauteing the onions in and stir to loosen up all of the spices and flavor that has stuck to the pan. Pour the broth into the crock-pot and stir well.
5. Cover and let cook for 8-10 hours on med/low heat.
A before and after photo of my chili. The TVP is very light and not to yummy looking but after cooking all day, it soaks up all of the flavors anda colors from the other ingredients and makes a beautiful and hearty chili!

This is great served with some sour cream, Fritos and shredded cheddar cheese on top! And, of course plain, saltine crackers are awesome with it also. Leftovers can be frozen. Or, a favorite way for us to use them is to mix some chili with 4 oz of Velvetta cheese to make chili cheese dip to eat with tortilla chips. Yummy!

Enjoy & God Bless!

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