Growing up in India on a regular diet of Archie comics, I was fascinated by what Jughead ate. Burgers and Hot Dogs, Pizza and Sundaes, and Chili. Alas, India of the late 70s/early 80s had no Burgers, Hot Dogs or Pizzas. So when I started traveling overseas for work, guess where I headed to for nourishment? The first restaurant I ever ate at abroad was the Pizza Hut across the road from the Railway Station in Geneva, Switzerland. The second was the McDonald’s in Lausanne.
But Chili eluded me in Europe. It wasn’t until I moved to the US that I finally figured out what Chili was. Unfortunately, by this time I was a vegetarian. Fast forward a few months in the US and I was on my first ever ski trip to Winter Park in Colorado and I discovered Vegetarian Chili. Hallelujah! I loved it.
This is one of the dishes that I have played around with over the years and come to the conclusion that it really is hard to screw up. Don’t want to use Black Beans, no problem. Like to use fresh tomatoes or Rotel instead of canned tomatoes, you got it. It has become a staple in our house. We usually have it with some Sourdough bread.
This is the last version I made. Experiment and enjoy.
1 cup uncooked Black Beans or 1 can Black Beans
½ medium onion (mongo American Yellow Onion or Red Onion)
1 tsp diced garlic
6 oz Morningstar Veggie Crumbles
1 diced green bell pepper, 1 carrot, 2 stalks celery (You can use any of these or more. Just remember to use veggies with some crunch. Corn is another good option.)
1 can diced tomato (no salt added)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fajita seasoning (no salt added)
Salt to taste
1. Soak the Black Beans overnight and pressure cook them in two cups of water and one bay leaf. Or use a can of cooked Black Beans.
2. Fry onion in 1 Tbsp oil until onion is transparent
3. Add garlic. Saute for 1-2 mins.
4. Add Morningstar crumbles and cook till it thaws.
5. Dump the can of tomato (you can use a can of any variety of Rotel if you want or three/four chopped ripe tomatoes)
6. Lower the heat to medium
7. Let it cook for 4 mins
8. Add Black Beans (without the bay leaf)
9. Add seasoning and cumin
10. Add salt to taste
11. Add chopped vegetables
12. Add about 2 cups of water and turn heat to simmer
13. Cover and let it cook for 20 mins
14. Open and add more water to get the consistency you want. It should be fairly thick.
15. Bring to a boil (if you have added water).