Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unbelievable Vegetarian Chili with TVP

I served this to a crowd of people as part of a Fourth of July dinner. The vegetarians didn’t believe it was meatless and nobody else asked. Everyone really enjoyed it. Chili means different things to different people, so adjust as you see fit. When it’s just ‘me and the boys’ (my three sons) we spice it up with some chipotle chili powder or aji panca chilies. This makes a huge pot of chili because the TVP (textured vegetable protein) swells up as it rehydrates in the pot. TVP is cheap, very high in protein, low in fat and is a great meat replacement. I get TVP from a large local health food store. It’s $2.19 a pound, which turns into about 3 pounds when rehydrated. The 2 cups of TVP in this recipe is about 5 ounces in weight. Serve over plain brown rice. This recipe will easily feed eight to ten. It wasn’t until I put this recipe on paper and compiled the nutrition information that I realized how healthy it really is! Check out the excellent calorie/fat/protein/fiber stats below.

1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup sweet or red onions, chopped
2 cups red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, chopped
2 or more cloves garlic, minced
29 oz. can black or kidney beans rinsed and drained
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 to 4 tbs. chili powder
1/8 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
Hot sauce sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dry textured vegetable protein (TVP)

1. In large heavy bottomed pot heat oil and sauté onions until translucent but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add peppers and garlic and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, water and spices to pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. The mixture will be watery.

3. Stir in the dry TVP. It will soak up most of the liquid in the dish, so be prepared to add more water if necessary. Simmer for an additional 15 to 30 minutes or until TVP is completely rehydrated and tender. Adjust spices to taste. Serve over brown rice. 360 calories, 4 g. fat, 23 g. protein and 14 g. fiber per serving, including ½ cup brown rice.

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