I’ve served this chili to avid meat-a-tarians and they always love it. In fact, they usually don’t know they’re not eating meat. First, measure out 2 cups of dry TVP (textured vegetable protein). I use the small kind rather than the chunks. It looks weird dry, and the descriptions of it aren’t too sexy, but it really pumps up the chili and adds protein.
Reconstitute it with an equal amount of boiling water; put both in a bowl and stir, cover the bowl. Let that sit until all the water is taken up…maybe 5 minutes.
Here’s how the reconstituted TVP looks:
While that’s percolating, chop up one cup each of red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and red onion.
Heat a non-stick skillet to really not, put enough vegetable oil (corn or canola, not olive) it just cover the bottom. Add the TVP and brown it, stirring it constantly. If it doesn’t get crispy brown, that’s okay.
Add the veggies to the TVP and keep stirring. Toss in 4 oz. of chili seasoning mix…any will do, so long as it’s vegan. You may need to put in some beer or water to keep it from being too dry. If you like your chili super-spicy, put in some red pepper flakes while the veggies are cooking with the TVP.
While the TVP and veggies are cooking, open three cans each of tomato bits (I like the fire-roasted kind) and chili hot beans (or whatever kind of beans you like) and put them in a big, deep pot.
Add the TVP/veggie mixture—and maybe a little water—and turn the heat to low; let it simmer an hour. If you’ve been toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian, try this chili and you may decide you can live without meat ~ or less meat ~ after all.
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