Hearty Vegetable Chili

Here's a family favorite that you can tailor to your family's tolerance for heat. Make up a batch of your favorite cornbread and you've got a warming, filling dinner.

1 cup T.V.P. (dry soy protein) available in bulk at Nature's Bin

1 cup warm water

1 Tbs. soy sauce 

1 can diced tomatoes (try Muir Glen roasted)

1/4 cup ketchup

1 med. onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 clove garlic

3 dried Ancho chiles (produce dept. Nature's Bin)

1 dried Chipotle chile (Nature's Bin)

1 Tbs. ground cumin

2 Tbs. ground chili powder

1 Tbs. smoked paprika (if you can't find smoked paprika, use sweet and add a little liquid smoke)

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can chick peas

2 Tbs oil

2 tsp. coarse black pepper


Cover the T.V.P. with warm water and stir in the soy sauce. Let this sit for a bit to absorb the water. Pull off the stems and clean out any seeds in the chile peppers. Put the dried chiles in a small bowl and cover them with warm water as well (about a cup) and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Pull the chiles out of the water. DON'T THROW OUT THE WATER! Put the chiles in a blender with a spoonful of the chile water and the peeled garlic clove and blend til smooth.

In a nice heavy large pot, saute the onion and carrot in the oil til they're a little soft. Pour in the chile puree and cook for a minute or so. Add the can of tomatoes and the beans. Stir in the T.V.P. and the rest of the liquid from the chiles. Add the ketchup and the spices. Taste before you add the salt and then add what you need. Let everything simmer on low heat for about 45 min. Should feed 4.

* note: This gives you about a medium hot chili. If you are sensitive to heat, skip the chipotle pepper and use another Ancho instead. If you like your chili hot, add a second chipotle. That's where the heat is. If your chili got a little too spicy, add a little more ketchup. The sugar in it will tone down the heat.

** If you prefer your chili with meat, skip the T.V.P. and brown up a pound of lean ground beef with the onion and carrots.

Josie Duennes is the food service manager at Nature's Bin, the mother of 2 grown sons and happily married for over 30 years.

Josie Duennes

I'm the food service manager at Nature's Bin, the mother of 2 grown sons and happily married for over 30 years.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:24 PM, 01.08.2013