Vegan Calico Chili

Hey, Strangers!! It’s been awhile, I know.

I’m having a bit of dejá vu right now and I’m sure we’ve discussed this pattern of mine. I get busy outdoors during the summer and I eat salad like a MOFO. No new recipes get cooked. Not many blogs get written. It is what it is and I like it.

This year was no exception. I’ve been eating greens and veggie wraps all season. Plus, I have been productive. School, work, podcast, planning our wedding (sort of), dogs, house, yoga classes, blah, blah, blah.

It is now autumn or “fall” as far as my ass is concerned, (it will be official by the time this drops) and what’s the first dish to rock the crock??

Well, duuhhhhh….it’s CHILI!!

What’s better or easier than popping open some canned beans and letting them simmer all day while you live your life??

I got the usual Monday mani/pedi, went shopping, recorded some podcast segments, walked the dogs, cleaned the house and taught a yoga class while this cooked. Could I have made it from dry beans and fresh tomatoes??

Absolutely!!

NOT!!

Chili is a lazy meal and it needs to stay that way.

Ok, guys. I’m not sure if you remember, but I went meat-free a few months ago for a 90 day Sadhana. The habit stuck. Or the old habit burned. I don’t know, but I am meat-free and happy to be.

I’ve been real good about not using meat substitutes and just enjoying most plant foods in their natural form, but when Labor Day came around and I’d recently bought the man a new charcoal grill, I just knew I had to have a burger.

I’ve tried quite a few veggie burgers and I’m not impressed. Just being honest. They’re mushy and they go straight through me. Usually.

I was cruising for some recipes though, and I happened across reviews for Beyond Burgers ™️ so I got curious and we acquired some for the holiday meal.

They were good. Like, really good. Like, I couldn’t tell it wasn’t a burger good.

And that is how this chili came to fruition.

Like I said, I’m ok with not using meat substitutes most meals. But, this is a transition!! We don’t just go from life as a raving carnivore, surf-n-turf at least once a damn week, BBQ-rib-bone-sucking human, to vegan in a few months without some allowances.

I haven’t been perfect either. I tried chicken at work a couple of times and it immobilized my digestive tract. I indulged some weird craving for a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, too. Bad move. Very bad.

Chili without any type of meat seemed “blah” and boring, plus; I’d like to not completely alienate my partner who still likes meat.

If you aren’t about the Beyond™️ meat deal for whatever reason; maybe try this recipe for vegan “taco meat”. I recently did taco meat out of quinoa and red lentils. It was ok. Not crumbly. More pasty like refried beans, but we liked it.

As I said before, this chili was a busy Monday meal, so I prepped the onions and peppers, threw everything in the crockpot, and went about my business that day.

I suppose you’d like to get to the recipe?? Ok. I’d like to get you there as well. It’s pretty fantastic.

Before you ask; the ingredients in Beyond Burger™️ are few. It is mostly made of pea protein. Also, it’s a gluten and soy-free product, but I haven’t done a ton of reading on it yet. I will. I plan to. I’ll fill you in when I do.

For now, just make some chili and chill.

If you’re not meat-free, use beef cubes, ground beef or turkey. It’s all good. No judgement. But speaking of judgement; if your friends quit eating meat or drinking alcohol or whatever they choose to change, how about we normalize leaving people the hell alone about those choices.

Be happy for folks making decisions that make them feel better. Can we try that?? Their choices aren’t put in place to bug you. I feel bad for all the times I made fun of vegans or those who gave up meat. I had to deal with some real morons last month about the whole thing. I wish I’d known better when I was the one being a carnivorous prick.

Rant over. Here is the recipe.

What You Need:

1 pkg of Beyond Beef™️ crumbles or 1.5 lbs of ground meat of your choosing.

1 medium yellow onion diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 can mild chili beans

1 can black chili beans

1 can of dark kidney beans in chili sauce

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (chili ready)

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of corn

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp chili powder (yes, I like all that flavor)

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:

You can sweat the peppers and onions if you want to, but I did not because I’m trying to use minimal oils and no butter. I tossed them straight into the crock, dumped all the canned ingredients in, and like so many things in life; I let that shit go!!

If you’re using meat you’ll definitely want to cook it first and drain the fat off.

If you use the crumbles or another meat substitute recipe, you’ll want to wait until about an hour prior to eating before adding that in.

Otherwise, cook it until it’s hot (4-6 hours), and until the onions and peppers are softened to your liking. That’s it.

I didn’t take a bunch of gorgeous pics of this dish. I honestly didn’t think I’d be sharing it!! Shout out to Michael Johnson for requesting a recipe. I hope he’s laughing about the fact that it’s just a bunch of canned goods thrown in a crockpot!! I see your insta, Mike. You are a kitchen bad-ass. I’m a kitchen lazy-ass, as of late.

(Insert shoulder shrug)

I did find the leftovers from this made an excellent vegan version of Wendy’s™️ Taco Salad.

Seriously. A bed of lettuce, some tortilla chips, tomatoes, onion and a cup of this chili. It was BOMB!! You don’t even miss the cheese and sour cream.

Alright, lovely humans. I’m on the couch today with a nasty bug (first illness since 2019), and I’m thinking about how to make some vegan soup that resembles chicken noodle. It’s probably not going to happen, but I’m still going to think about it.

I hope you’re all doing well and feeling jazzy. I have a bunch of stuff going on that I have zero desire to write about. I’m humbled by all the gifts the Universe has granted me. I think I’ll just stay that way.

Loving you all from out here in our little hippie heaven. Life is beautiful.

Until next time…..

XOXOXO, Chelle

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