Vegan Black Eyed Pea Chili–For Good Luck and Great Taste!

Black Eyed Pea ChiliHappy New Year, all !

You still have time to shop for groceries and make this simple and simply delicious chili for dinner…and you’ll be glad you did.

When I was visiting my parents and sister in MS over Christmas, they were enjoying a batch of legendary chili shared with them by our longtime family friend, Anne Crumbley.

The base looked delicious–a little less “tomato-y” than some–so, though it was made with meat, I sampled just a little of the base and knew I had to have the recipe, which my mother happened to own in her impressive files.

The secret ingredient?  Picante sauce!  My secret ingredient for even more mellowness?  Tofutti cream cheese!  But, you can omit if you prefer.

Yesterday, for my New Year’s Eve post, I shared some of my black eyed pea favorites from the past, but I wanted a new black eyed pea recipe–not to mention lunch–to celebrate 2015.  Considering lots of options, from some kind of fritter to gumbo to black eyed pea sausage–all of which I still want to try–it suddenly occurred to me that I could substitute black eyed peas for Ann’s black beans.  Holy Moly!

I tweaked her recipe only slightly in order to add a bit more “umami” depth and richness since I would most certainly not be using meat, and I hope you love the results as much as I do.

Top your chili with whatever you choose.  I like sour cream and sliced scallions; but Ann also recommends Fritos.  I cannot be trusted with an open bag of those, so I never buy them.  But if you can, more (will)power to you!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

Sea salt

2 large cloves minced garlic

12 ounces soy crumbles, tempeh, or your favorite ground “round” substitute (tempeh is typically sold in 8 ounce packages so use 1 or 2 for 8 or 16 ounces; don’t feel you need to split a package)

1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or chili powder; Ann’s recipe calls for the latter, but I was out of it

and I loved the smoked paprika)

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked black eyed peas ( 1 used frozen, thawed, but you can substitute an approximate 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained, or beans cooked from the dried state)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup picante sauce (I used Pace brand)

Optional but recommended: 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

Recommended toppings: vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream), sliced scallions, sliced black olives, roasted pumpkin seeds, sliced jalapenos, etc.

In a large heavy pot (like a Dutch oven) or even a wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high.   Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.   Add garlic and continue sauteing, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Add soy crumbles, smoked paprika nutritional yeast, cumin, oregano, sugar, Liquid Aminos, and pepper, and cook, breaking up crumbles, until heated through and all ingredients are well combined.  Add black eyed peas and heat through, stirring frequently.  Then add broth and picante sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and reducing heat as necessary to insure that chili does not stick on the bottom.  During the last 2 minutes, melt in the vegan cream cheese.  Serve chili in mugs or bowls, topped as desired or allow guests to top their own from a toppings bar.

 

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Spicy Vegan “Beef,” Zucchini, and Pumpkin Chili

Yield: 4 servings

I will admit that this non-traditional chili came from very humble beginnings–a zucchini from the farmer’s market that needed used and soon and some textured vegetable protein, which keeps forever and that I had had on hand for about that long–but it is glorious!

It is also simple to prepare, mouth-watering, a beautiful golden color, nutritious, filling-but-not-too, and delightfully perfumed.

“TVP?” you may wonder.  Believe me, I did too.   I suppose I ate it at some point–probably in school lunches back when its cost effectiveness as a cheap source of protein led to it being camouflaged in a variety of dishes–but I know I have never cooked it.  I purchased it quite a while ago out of curiosity.  Turns out that I really liked both its texture and flavor, namely whatever it is cooked with.  Something about its appearance and texture reminded me of chopped clams (from back in the day), so stay-tuned for some kind of yummy chowder.

In the meantime, enjoy this chili!

2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP) or crumbled vegan ground meat substitute, e.g. soy crumbles or tempeh

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Sea salt

4 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

2-8 inch zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced vertically, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 stick cinnamon, broken in half

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or 1 teaspoon of a milder chili powder like Ancho)

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup pureed pumpkin

Optional garnishes: vegan sour cream, broken cinnamon sticks, and/or roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine textured vegetable protein (TVP) and stock.  Bring to a vigorous simmer over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet (cast iron is always my preference), heat olive oil to shimmering over medium-high heat.  Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring, until softened.  Add zucchini, and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Add textured vegetable protein, wine, cinnamon sticks, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle chili powder, and stir well.   Stir in coconut milk and pumpkin and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 10 minutes or until flavors marry.  Thin with a little water or white wine if necessary.  Check for salt and stir in more if necessary.  Serve warm in bowls garnished, if desired, with vegan sour cream, a piece of a cinnamon stick, and a few roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds.

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Vegan Chili Two Ways

Our weather has been living up to its “if you don’t like it, wait ten minutes and it will change” reputation, meaning that we have had some unseasonably cold days and nights. So, while I don’t normally associate March with chili weather, we have been experiencing some pretty “chilly” temperatures.

Check out this link for a short feature and recipes that I published in The Virginian-Pilot in January ’08 for a vegan chili buffet that even our meat-eating friends lined up for (a red and a white chili plus my Mom’s addicting corn fingers, veganized):

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/01/plan-super-bowl-chili-buffet

Note: This lovely photo was taken by either a staff photographer or freelancer for The Virginian-Pilot, but there was no photo credit on the website and, for some reason, I don’t have a hard copy of that story in my files, as I do for virtually everything else. My apologies to the photographer.

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