Chili

Chili is such a satisfying recipe, since it’s so versatile and easy to whip up with just a few staple ingredients usually found in any pantry.

There are so many versions of chili that you can create, depending on what you have. If you have an onion and a few garlic cloves, some sort of minced meat or other protein, canned tomatoes, your favorite chili seasonings, you’re good to go. Serve it with plain steamed rice, rustic bread, or even pasta. So easy!

In my version, I used TVP (textured vegetable protein) instead of meat, and it came out perfectly. I make my own chili seasonings, described below. They really add extra flavor to this pot of gooey heaven! Go ahead and double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe, freezing the leftovers for a lazy day.

Makes 5-6

Ingredients

1 cup TVP, soaked, or mixture of equal parts ground pork and beef

240 g soaked cooked black beans

3 tbsp tomato concentrate

3/4 cup passata

1 400 g can of peeled plum tomatoes 

1 small yellow onion

3 small garlic cloves

1 cup water

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp homemade chili mix 

Salt and pepper to taste 

2 tbsp olive oil

To serve

Plain steamed rice, freshly cooked pasta, or rustic bread. Or serve cold and make it into a wrap with fresh greens.

To garnish

Freshly chopped coriander leaves

Smetana or sour cream

Tortilla chips

Avocado 

Recipe Preparation

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, then add minced meat and cook until no longer pink. You don’t need to brown the meat too much, but at the same time, you don’t want it to be mushy in the sauce. Some moisture from the meat should be cooked off after 5 minutes. If you’re using TVP, just cook until it’s heated through.

Make a well in the center of the pot and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook until soft and slightly browned, then toss everything together with tomato concentrate. Stir to coat, then add chili seasoning mix and stir again to combine, then cook until fragrant. Add soaked black beans, stir to combine. At this point, you should lower the heat to medium to avoid the mixture scorching too much on the bottom. Add passata, canned plum tomatoes, beans, and water, then use a spatula to break up the tomatoes, stirring to combine. Lower heat to medium low if needed. 

Once the mixture starts simmering, add Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, the stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that there’s no scorching. After 20 minutes, check to see if the chili is too watery. If so, uncover and simmer for another 8-10 min, depending on the consistency you want. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm with your favorite sides, as suggested above.

Extra portions can kept in fridge and reheated on the stove or in the microwave. Consume within 3 days. If stored in freezer, can be kept for up to 3 months.

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