Monday, March 18, 2013

Vegan cheesy chili

Yeah, let's totally pretend that I'm going to eat 7 chips with this, and not  that entire bag behind it.

The first rule of chili is that it needs to be bad for you. This is junk food, so despite all the veggies and lack of fat in this dish, it still has to taste like a heavy, hearty treat and not a healthy tomato stew that your saint of a mother made for you on a cold winter's afternoon. That's where Daiya comes in.


  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or more, if you like spicy)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (bought or made)
  • 1 can red kidney (or any other) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (roughly 3 cups) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn 
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup or more Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese shreds

Let's do it!

  1. Add a bit of oil to a medium sized soup pot. Set stove to medium.
  2. When warm, add onions and stir until translucent. 
  3. Add garlic, chipotle and chili powder. Stir for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add a can of spaghetti sauce and maybe 1/3 can of water. This is where the unhealthiness begins. These things are loaded with salt! If you actually want this to be healthy, I suppose you can make your own tomato sauce.
  5. Add kidney beans and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for about half an hour. I like to simmer beans for a while because I heard it keeps you from getting gassy. I don't know if this is true, but I always do this and manage not to be unbearable after eating beans.
  6. Add red peppers and corn (I used frozen corn and didn't bother defrosting). Simmer for another 15 minutes. Don't worry too much about the timing, I was doing this while cleaning the house and watching TV. Chili is incredibly forgiving.
  7. Add quinoa and simmer for at least another 15 minutes. This adds a nice texture which would ordinarily come from meat. It's also healthy. Sorry.
  8. Add Daiya cheese and stir until blended. If you know Daiya, you know that it tastes a lot like processed cheese and will transform your chili into a rich, gooey, delicious mess. Take that, mom! (Kidding, my mom is awesome.)
  9. Add water if you think it's too thick, more chili powder if you think it's missing that flavour, salt, pepper, whatever. It's your's, make it the way you want!

Lunch it up!

I'm really committing to this being unhealthy so I brought this to work, heated it up and ate it with tortilla chips.

If you can't imagine a world without meat, check out my meat-filled chili here.

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