This past weekend, my brother and his beautiful girlfriend came over for a visit! I wanted to cook up something that they could take back home with them and that’s when my brain said, “taco chili.” Now, I’m not entirely sure as to why it said that as I’ve definitely not been craving chili or tacos lately, nor have I even ever had taco chili, but alas the idea was there and so I ran with it. (I’m a big believer in gut instincts and trusting your intuition, if you didn’t know this about me already!)
I’ve made chili before (my circle city chili), so I was familiar with the process but was a little unsure about how to take a dish, which is already kind of taco-esque with its tomatoes, beans, etc., and make it even more taco-y. Luckily, it was so much easier than I thought! Two major things I did was I decided to throw in some meatless crumbles, aka vegan “ground beef,” and I also went ahead and swapped out the chili seasonings for taco seasoning -as in the stuff that comes in a packet at the grocery store! When it all came together and was done, I actually had taco chili, chili that tastes like a taco, and the consensus was that it was delicioso. A little sweet, not too spicy, and good and “meaty.” It requires a little time and effort, as any good chili does, but it’s super easy, I promise!
It all gets started with some prep! As with my circle city chili recipe, this recipe calls for 6 fresh tomatoes! To get those ready for our chili, cut each tomato into 3 or 4 chunks then drop a few chunks into a pull chop container and give the pull 8-10 yanks. Transfer the cut tomatoes and their liquid to a large bowl and continue this process until all of the tomatoes have been cut up. You will also need to small dice, as in with a knife and not using the pull chop container, half of a large onion, 2 jalapenos which have had their seeds and membranes removed, and 1 roasted red pepper.
Vegan Taco Chili
Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com
- 6 medium size tomatoes
- 1/2 of a large white onion
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 roasted red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 cups meatless crumbles
- 1 (15-ounce) can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can of low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (1-ounce) packet of mild taco seasoning (I used Simply Organic brand. If your seasoning packet does not have salt in it then you will need to add salt to your chili!)
- Fresh cilantro
- Vegan “sour cream”
- Vegan “cheddar” shreds
- Cut each tomato into 3 or 4 chunks then drop a few chunks into a pull chop container and give the pull 8-10 yanks. Transfer the cut tomatoes and their liquid to a large bowl and continue this process until all of the tomatoes have been cut up. Also small dice, as in with a knife and not using the pull chop container, the onion half, the 2 jalapenos (be sure to remove and discard their membranes and seeds), and the roasted red pepper.
- In a dutch oven (or other large lidded pot) over medium heat, pour in the oil and then add in the onion and jalapenos. Cook those, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add in the meatless crumbles and cook those for 5 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
- Add in the tomatoes and the red pepper you prepped earlier along with the black beans, pinto beans, water, tomato paste, and taco seasoning. Stir to combine then cover the pot and lower the heat to low-medium. Let the chili cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring it every 6-10 minutes or so.
- After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and toss in some fresh chopped cilantro. Give the pot one more good stir then it’s ready to enjoy. To serve, top with “sour cream,” some “cheddar” shreds, and a little more fresh chopped cilantro. Chili will keep in an airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days.