Some foods we eat are not relegated to a certain meal or a particular time of day. Chili is one such dish. It is excellent for lunch or supper and great fare to take along for a potluck. As a bonus it is also quick and easy to prepare.
This recipe is the result of considerable trial and error on our part. We wanted a hearty chili without meat that could still leave you with that stick-to-your-ribs contentment. You may not be familiar with TVP, the optional ingredient. The chili is excellent without the TVP but adding it lends a more ground-beef-like texture to the end result. TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein and it is made from processed soy. It is high in protein and fiber. Ingredients like TVP, a processed food, should be kept to a minimum in your overall diet. We use it very sparingly. In fact, this is one of our only recipes that include TVP in the mix.
EAST COAST CHILI
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup TVP (optional)
1 medium sized onion, chopped
½ cup dry red wine
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ripe tomatoes, diced or 1 large can diced tomatoes
or 4 ripe tomatoes plus 2 cups pasta sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle powder (or more if you prefer more “heat”)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounce) each of kidney beans, black beans, baked beans, including liquids
2 tbsp white or brown sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
Reconstitute the TVP by covering it with 1 cup of boiling water. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup red wine and cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic, covered, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, spices, beans, vegetable broth, sugar and prepared TVP. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer until flavours are blended and chili thickens to desired consistency, about 30 minutes.