Yes! Perfect dips and vegetarian (vegan!) chili for your game day
I’ve been so swamped this January I don’t even know who is playing both in the game itself and at half time. But I’ll find out Sunday because I never miss a chance to make Super Bowl food!
I’m including three previous posts: the best dips imaginable.
What’s new is yet another dip, also wonderful, and a mind-blowing vegetarian chili recipe (actually, its vegan!) that even the staunchest carnivore will love: it tastes like chili!
So scroll down, pick some recipes you like and get ready for Sunday!
First, previous recipes that can’t be beat (click the links!):
and what friends of mine have now dubbed, in all seriousness, ‘crack’:
This is new! Another dip just as incredible… at least if you like pickles! Courtesy of Foodie with Family, this is divine:
And now, a recipe for an amazing vegetarian chili.
Most recipes I see online for vegetarian chili are more a vegetable stew, rather than an actual chili. Take, for example, this excellent version from Emeril: Vegetarian Chili (stew)
That’s a great recipe. But it’s not chili. At least nothing like the chili I grew up with in Texas.
So… for a vegetarian (vegan!) chili that actually tastes like chili, walnuts are the way to go! Sound crazy? Not if you know raw food. I actually went raw for 4 months once, to see what eating raw was like. I actually liked the food but it was a pain in the ass! You think “Raw food… no cooking… easy!” Um, no. I spent a lot more time figuring out what to eat and how to prep it than I ever do in a normal week. Still, I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot.
One of my favorite recipes then was Raw Tacos, about which I will soon post. Walnuts, prepped properly, were a shockingly great substitute for ground taco meat. The same transformation happens in this wonderful recipe. Give it a try and surprise yourself! You can make it in an hour, though, as with any chili, it’s best to make it the day before. This only gets better with time.
VEGETARIAN CHILI (It’s actually Vegan!)
NOTE: I’m simplifying a longer recipe I sometimes cook by using canned beans and store-bought chili powder. If you have the time, cooking your own dried beans from scratch and making your own chili powder will elevate the chili even more. But the easy version is still terrific. Which means that is all you will make. And you will be happy.
NOTE: Making your own vegetable broth really adds to the taste. You can easily make the veggie broth as you sauté your onions: In a pot, throw an onion with skin, a few chilis and/or bell peppers, carrots, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns (all chopped roughly, any or all of these that you have around) and bring to a boil. Then turn down to low. Then start your onions. By the time you need the broth in the recipe… voila!
This recipe makes A LOT. For 8-10 people. You can easily cut it in half.
2 large onions chopped
5-ish ounces dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, chopped (or one packet from the store.. more than 5 oz is fine, just use the bag.)
5 t dried oregano
3 cups walnuts, toasted
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained with juices reserved
3 T tomato paste
3 T chili powder
4 cans of your favorite beans, drained and rinsed. I use 2 pinto and 2 kidney. NOTE: If you love a really ‘beany’ chili, add two more cans.
2 fresno (or jalapeno) chilis, chopped… if you want a less spicy chili, remove the seeds. If you love a very spicy chili, add yet another pepper… or a Serrano!!
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 T soy sauce
2 T cumin
8 cups vegetable broth (or water)
2 cups bulgur
– In a large pot, heat a glug or two of oil over medium and add the onions. Sauté 15 minutes or so until they are soft and starting to brown. Remember: with onions, the lower the heat and the longer you cook, the better. So if you have the time, 30 minutes on low equals yum. If the onions ever start to stick, just add a little water.
As the onions cook (stir occasionally) and as you simmer your broth:
– In a food processor, grind the mushrooms and oregano into a powder. Remove to a bowl. Add the chili powder and cumin to the ground mushrooms/oregano. No need to clean the food processor bowl.
– In the food processor, grind the walnuts until they are the size and shape of ground beef – think ground taco meat. NOTE: The pulse button is what you want to use here. Go slow or you will end up with more powder. You want 80% of the walnuts to mimic the ground beef (there will be a little powder) … transfer the pulsed walnuts to another bowl. No need to clean the food processor bowl.
– In the food processor add the drained tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh chopped chilis, minced garlic and soy sauce. Process until pretty much a puree.
– When your onions are finished: add the chili powder/mushroom/oregano/cumin powder. Cook about a minute, stirring, to let the spices flower: Oh my, the fragrant smell.
– Add your drained beans and your broth and bring to a boil.
– Stir in the bulgur, ground walnuts, tomato puree, and reserved tomato juice from the can. Add 2 T salt. Bring back to a boil then immediately turn to low.
– Cook… stirring frequently, for at least 30 minutes. Probably more. At first you will think… this is so soupy! But the bulgar will start to absorb the liquid and become the consistency of chili.
– Start tasting during this last 30 minutes… need more spice? Add chili powder and/or process another fresh chili. Need more salt? Cumin? Or?
– After 30 minutes, when it has really begun to thicken, turn off the heat, cover and let sit at least 15 more minutes. It’s now ready to eat but if you can make it a day before, wow, even better. If by the next day if it has thickened beyond what you like, just add a little more veggie broth back into the chili.
– Serve however you serve chili! In my house growing up, this meant chili served over white rice topped with chopped white onion and grated cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. With this chili, I like diced avocado and a white cheddar or Monterey Jack with the sour cream, chopped white onion and chopped cilantro￼