Vegan Chili

Dan and I really like chili. It's great plain, with bread or over rice; it freezes well; it can be warming or summery; and the vegetarian stuff is pretty darn healthy.

When we go shopping for non-produce items, we alway pick up any sale canned/frozen goods that might be good in chili: beans, tomatoes, corn, etc. Over the past few months, we accumulated pinto beans, kidney beans, fire roasted garlic tomatoes, frozen fire roasted green chiles and some canned corn. Since we had leftover black beans in our freezer, we slow cooked a batch of white beans and made some chili!

Here's what you need:
1-2 cans of tomatoes (if whole, squish with your hands before adding)
1 can corn
4-6 pounds of cooked assorted beans (note: a 15-oz can is approximately a pound)
green chilis (canned or frozen)
cumin, to taste
chili powder, to taste
about 0.5c of nutritional yeast

Add the first four ingredients to a big pot. (You get bonus points for sauteing onion, garlic and cumin seeds in the pot first.) Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes get a little saucier. Add cumin and chili powder, tasting as you go. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before serving, add nutritional yeast.

Note: nutritional yeast is a common vegan cheese substitute. We found that it leant a really nice savory, creamy, thick texture and flavor to the chili, and was probably the single most important ingredient. Look for it in the health food or bulk section of your grocery store--or ask for help finding it! Cheddar would be an ok substitute, but nutritional yeast is strongly preferred.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

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