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Sunday
Oct302011

Easy Vegetarian Chili

We have a rule around our house that says that whoever gets home first has to make dinner. So, yeah, if you manage to dodge traffic and get home at a decent hour, you get punished. It's all good, though. We don't cook any of the same things, so it adds a little variety to life.

This is one of the husband's specialities. To be honest, it was like pulling teeth to get him to fess up as to what is in it. Apparently, he likes having secret recipes. To that I say TOO BAD. Half the fun of finding good foods is sharing them with friends.

I don't know where this recipe first originated, but the husband adapted it to make it vegetarian. While he does eat meat, he's pretty health-conscious. The substitutions cut out a ton of calories and manage to do so without cutting out any taste. Or so he says. I wouldn't know because I only like chili this way.

Easy Vegetarian Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 package Morningstar Meal Starters Grillers Crumbles or 1 package Boca Ground Crumbles
2 6-oz cans tomato sauce
1 package chili seasoning
1 can beans (Any will do--kidney, white, black, whatever)

(That's the "basic" ingredients. Depending on what we have sitting around, this often gets embellished. Potential additions include an extra can or two of beans (the photos show kidney beans and garbanzo beans), hot sauce, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, etc.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red pepper and onion and sauté until softened. Add the Crumbles and cook until lightly browned.

Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, and beans. Cover the skillet and allow to simmer until heated all the way through.

Tah-dah! No. Seriously. You're done. You can embellish if you'd like, but that's the basic idea.

We serve it with a bit of cheddar cheese and some crackers most of the time, but the same vegetarian chili also gets used when we have chili dogs. It's versatile, n'at.

Also, it's a hit with the short person. She invaded my "photo shoot" because she wanted to start eating it IMMEDIATELY.

I'll admit, it's pretty good.

Especially since I'm not the one who makes it.

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Reader Comments (6)

Perfect chilly weather chili. Yum.

October 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

I made chili yesterday! I love adding tomatoes to mine and a little Worcestershire sauce and sometimes a little bit of dark beer. And of course, this made me realize that I left my lunch at home =( At least I know that I'll be having some yummy chili for dinner!

October 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertehamy

I'm going to give your (husband's) version a whirl sometime soon. We love all kinds of chili. We're kind of chili fanatics.

October 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom

Stealing this for next Monday's vegeterian night. Having wild mushroom risotto tonight which my toddler strangely loves. He actually doesn't like meat besides viennas very much so I love your site for new kid friendly ideas. One question as a non American what are crumbles?

October 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

interesting. i might just have to try this meatless version. because i do so love me some chili.

October 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Looks great. Our last version of vegetarian chili was weak. We didn't use any type of "Crumbles" filler, though; perhaps that will make the difference. Otherwise, it was similar to the rest of your recipe.

Looking forward to trying it out soon - we all love chili in this house!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave (Scrumpy Daddy)
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