Pizza, salsa, dips and chips are all typical game day fare, but there is something special about a hearty bowl of spicy chili on Super Bowl Sunday. This is especially true in Texas, where the dish was born well over a century ago.
A popular dish with trail hands in the Old West, Chili Con Carne was a dish of well-seasoned beef, slow cooked with chili peppers and other spices concocted around 1850 by Texas cowboys. According to historians, chili was a staple in hard times around Texas and easy to prepare over a campfire when traveling to the California gold fields. There was a San Antonio Chili Stand at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and it was at this exposition that Texas chili went national.
In the Southwest, Chili can vary considerably from one region to another. In New Mexico, the concept and consistency of chili is somewhat more like a stew made with chili peppers and vegetables, with or without meat.
In California, Chili is typically a mixture of ground beef and beans, and considered to be very different from other areas of the Southwest. Whatever the origin, Chili is often served with rice and tortillas or cornbread. Texas Chili is prepared without beans, which are served on the side.
When made with traditional ingredients, a bowl of “Texas Red,” as chili is known by aficionados can contain prodigious amounts of fat, calories, and cholesterol. Our Tempeh Chili takes an enlightened approach to this enduring classic using wholesome ingredients to maintain the robust flavor and texture while shedding unhealthy fat and calories.
How? Instead of beef, this lusty dish is made with tempeh (tem-pay). Fermented from whole soybeans, tempeh is high in protein, fiber, calcium, B-vitamins and iron and has a tender, chewy texture that most meat-eaters appreciate. This heart-healthy Chili delivers impressive “stick to your ribs” authenticity without the undesirable “stick to your thighs” outcome! This dish is entirely plant-based; healthy for people and for the planet!
Chili is a dish that improves when made in advance and allowed to mellow. Refrigerate overnight and reheat before serving.
Easy to make, satisfying and delicious this Chili comes together quickly.
2 (8 ounce pkg.) Tempeh, steamed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 ounces Portobello mushrooms, diced
2 (14 1/2 ounce cans) Mexican Stewed Tomatoes, diced
2 (15 ounce cans) chili beans with chipotle peppers
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
Cube tempeh and steam over boiling water for 15 minutes, and set aside. Tempeh can be steamed in advance and will keep for up to 5 days covered in the refrigerator until ready to incorporate into a recipe. In a 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil and crushed pepper over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper and sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Crumble tempeh into the pan and add diced mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stewed tomatoes, chili beans, chili powder and Mexican oregano. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Enlightened Tempeh Chili
Nutrition Analysis per 1 1/2 cup serving
Protein 20g, Carbohydrates 33g, Fiber 8g, Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Calcium 173 mg, Sodium 722mg.
Notes on Ingredients
Tempeh – made by fermenting whole soybeans and is rich in nutrients such as calcium, B-vitamins and iron. Available in the cold case at health food stores from Wildwood, Lightlife and at Trader Joe’s.
Mexican Stewed Tomatoes – Spiced stewed tomatoes that add a special flavor to many dishes. Available at supermarkets S&W Mexican Stewed Tomatoes.
Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter
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