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Brady's Veggie Chili

Categories: Main   Vegetables  
Submitted by:Brady
Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 30 min
Total time: 2 hrs 10 min

A chili with the emphasis the on the chilis

Ingredients

2medium-large yellow onions, roughly chopped
6medium tomatoes, quartered or eighthed *
6 to 8bell or other sweet chili peppers, roughly chopped
1 to 2 lbssoft and medium tofu **
1head of garlic, diced
2 cansbeans (kidney beans or chickpeas recommended)
to taste / omithabanero, serrano, or other spicy chili
1/4 to 1/2 can(if necessary for thickening) tomato paste

Spices

2 to 6 tbspchili powder ***
to taste / omitspicy chili powder (e.g. cayenne or chipotle)
2 tspground cumin seed
2 tspground coriander seed
1 tspground black pepper (or to taste)
1.5 tspcurry powder
1 tsponion powder
1.5 tspchicken bouillon, stock concentrate, etc. †

Steps

  1. Heat oil or melt butter in pot.†† Add onions, chili peppers, and garlic. Saute over medium-high until onions start caramelizing.
  2. Add tomatoes, spices, and chicken bouillon. Stir. Saute for another five minutes or so. Tomatoes will start to release their liquid.
  3. Add beans, tofu. Stir. Reduce heat to medium and let begin to cook down.
  4. Taste, adjust if necessary.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer uncovered until the desired thickness has nearly been achieved (probably at least 30 minutes, or possibly not until you're done cooking anyways), then cover, reduce to just high enough to simmer, and continue simmering for at least 30 minutes. Periodically stir, and taste test / adjust spices if necessary.

Note

* depending on the tomatoes and their sweetness and liquid content, you may want to dial this (and the tomato paste) up or down

** I like adding both soft and medium tofu; the soft tofu turns to mush (resembling ground meat visually, but not in mouthfeel), while the medium tofu somewhat keeps its shape. You really don't need to bother pressing the medium tofu, but you can if you want it to keep its shape better and possibly soak up the chili better.

You could use extra-firm and crumble it to imitate ground meat's mouthfeel, but it's still not going to be ground meat. You can also substitute in the same weight of your preferred ground meat.

*** No Name Brand chili powder is good, smokey, and spicy

† I don't say "chicken stock" because this recipe already inherently includes a lot of liquid from the vegetables and the tofu, so if using bouillon or concentrate, just add it directly. Replace with vegetable stock or simply leave this out for a pure vegetarian variant.

†† I prefer not to do this one in the slow cooker, it seems to develop better at higher temperatures. Your mileage may vary. You may have too much liquid if you do this in the slow cooker as-written because of the tofu and tomatoes, so maybe omit some tomatoes and add more tomato paste to compensate.

An electric pressure cooker, on the other hand, does a great job. In an Instant Pot IP-DUO60:
- Do steps 1-4 in the pressure cooker on saute mode
- Omit tomatoes; replace with tomato sauce and tomato paste. Maybe more paste vs. sauce than you'd think you'd use for other chili recipes, since the tofu releases water even if pressed, and the pressure cooker retains moisture
- Instead of step 5: Put lid on pressure cooker, set exhaust valve to "Sealing", and put the pressure cooker on "Beans/Chili" mode for 30 minutes (the default). When the cooker is done, press Cancel and use the natural release method (i.e. don't turn the exhaust valve to "venting" until the float valve falls); if you want to speed up pressure release slightly, put a cold wet towel on the metal part of the lid without covering the exhaust and float valves.