Toni and Michelle’s Favorite Chili

Excerpted from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Toni Okamoto and Michelle Cehn

From Toni: When I was younger, I would eat canned chili like it was going out of style. This updated rendition of the classic one-pot meal retains all the beefy chili goodness that I remember as a child, thanks to TVP (textured vegetable protein). It’s chunky; packed with protein, veggies, and nutritious spices; and fabulous served alongside our cornbread. You can find TVP at many mainstream grocery stores, but vegan beefy crumbles will work, too (just skip step 1).

Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

½ cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
2 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup corn kernels (frozen corn or fresh uncooked corn sliced directly off the cob)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 bay leaf
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Finely diced red onion, for garnish (optional)

  1. In a medium bowl, soak the textured vegetable protein in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes. Drain, press the water out, and set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the TVP, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, kidney beans, chickpeas, corn kernels, 1 cup of water, bouillon cube, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and bay leaf.
  4. Bring the chili to a boil, cover, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Garnish with cilantro and diced red onion (if using).

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