Last weekend Atlanta had our first snow of the winter! I know a lot of southerners don’t love the snow but I feel like snow days here are few and far between so I cherish each cold white day we get. I put the pups in their winter sweaters (which you can see here on Instagram) and we trotted outside to play in the snow a little bit. They weren’t really fans but at least I can say I tried. 😉
When we got back inside I knew I was going to cook up a pot of my spicy vegetarian chili. There’s just nothing quiet like chili on a cold winter night. This chili is one of my go-to favorites around here because it makes enough for at least 6 and since it’s only the two of us here it’ll make dinner for 3 nights. I usually make it on a Sunday because that means I don’t have to fret about dinner on Monday night after what is always a hectic day.
There are two main ways to make this a vegetarian chili and I regularly do them both. The first (the way I did it for this post) is to use meatless crumbles in place of the ground beef. I prefer to use Gardein Meatless Ground but you can use any sort of beef-substitute crumble. Gardein is just the best-tasting one I’ve found so far; I regularly use it in tacos/nachos, chili, burgers, etc.
The other way to make this vegetarian is to use 1 cup of red quinoa. You can actually use any color quinoa but I prefer the red so it blends in with the color of the tomatoes and the kidney beans in the spicy vegetarian chili.
As a bonus, even the meat-eaters in my family love this recipe and I’ve made it for them plenty of times when they’ve visited in the winter. My Dad is a big steak-and-potatoes guy but when he visited during Christmas, 2015 I had this on the stove when the arrived and he loved it (although I did leave out the sriracha and jalapenos because he doesn’t really like spicy food).
I’ll usually serve the spicy vegetarian chili with sweet cornbread so it balances the spice of the jalapeno and sriracha.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
I make this at least 3 – 4 times during the winter and it’s a hit every single time with both the vegetarian’s and the meat-lovers. It’s just one of our favorite meals.
- 1 Cup Gardein meatless ground or cooked red quinoa
- 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 Medium jalapeno, diced (1 jalapeno reserved separately)
- 1 Tsp Siracha
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tsp ground cumin
- 2 Tsp paprika
- 1 Tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Green onion, diced
- Sour cream, if desired
- Saute the Gardein meatless ground or cook the quinoa according to directions; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook about 2-3 minutes, stir frequently.
- Add meatless ground or quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapenos, siracha, and seasonings, to the onion and garlic. Stir.
- Add 1 - 2 cups of water (enough to cover the ingredients in the pot)
- Stir in the light red kidney beans and black beans. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until thickened (about 30 minutes).
- Top with lime juice and cover to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately topped with additional diced jalapenos, green onions, shredded cheese, or sour cream.
Doesn’t it sound delicious? Are you looking forward to trying it?