Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne is rather a misnomer and I suppose really I should call this Vegetrain chilli sans carne Because this is a recipe for making a meatless spicy chili that is just as filling and tasty as any calling for a hamburger or diced beef.
Whether our ultimate goal is to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or simply improve overall health and wellbeing; most routines we embark upon – whether they be exercise programs, diets or a combination of the two – are doomed from the start as we set unreasonable goals: especially in the case of the latter.
Why lose 20 pounds via starvation only to gain it back (and probably more) a month later? Or why eliminate bad cholesterol and processed carbs from your menu if you are bound to fall off the wagon and go on a fast-food binge? To say, “I’m never eating pizza again” or “I’m never touching another french fry” is stupid – especially if these are things you truly enjoy. If you torture yourself for long enough, your stomach will take command.
Small steps to healthy eating
The best approach is to be realistic and acknowledge that any commitment you make if it is to be of any value at all, must be a life long commitment. So that means no giant steps, only small increments in healthy eating . For example, use whole-grain bread instead of those made with processed flour, try brown rice instead of white, reduce (but not eliminate) your overall consumption of red meat and other high-cholesterol foods. The last example is what the following recipe is intended to satisfy.
If you don’t like chilli, I’m afraid it won’t do you much good; but if you do, read on this vegetarian chilli con carne might be right up your street.
Is Easy Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne just another tasteless, healthy, vegetarian recipe?
This recipe is not just for vegetarians: it is for people who want to reduce the amount of red meat in their diets, or even those who are just curious to see if a faux version of a popular dish can match up to the real thing.
One of the problems I’ve found with many of the ‘imitation’ vegetarian foods ( i.e., hot dogs, deli meats, cheeses) is that they taste nothing like what they are trying to replace – which is why their popularity is, more or less, among the vegetarian crowd alone.
But, I think you’ll find this chili just as flavorful and satisfying as any made with hamburger or diced beef.
Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne
Here is what you will need for vegetarian chilli con Carne
Standard cooking utensils, a large ( at least 5 quart ) soup pot, and a colander or strainer.
1 16 oz bag of pinto or kidney beans.
1 28 oz can of tomato sauce.
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes.
1 32 oz carton of CLEAR vegetable broth. Any brand should do, but I would recommend Swanson as it is readily available in most grocery stores and organic to boot.
2 12 oz packages of LIGHT LIFE Smart Ground Original – available in the produce section of most stores. ( NOTE: if you can’t find this brand look in the frozen section for a similar product ).
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped.
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped.
4-6 garlic bulbs, crushed and peeled.
2-3 jalapeño or habañero chili peppers, minced.
2-3 tablespoons of crushed red pepper.
1 tablespoon of cayenne powder.
Salt to taste.
Directions for Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne
1. Fill a soup pot with water to about the halfway mark; add beans (after thorough rinsing), bring water to a medium boil, and cook until beans are palatable yet still firm.
2. Drain beans in a colander and set them aside. Rinse and dry pot and return it to the stove on low heat.
3. Add olive oil. Once heated, add garlic and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent burning.
4. Discard garlic and place onion in pot – heat and stir until translucent.
5. Now add Smart Ground ( or similar product ), stir vigorously to break it up into small pieces. Sprinkle crushed pepper on top and cook for another 5 minutes – still on low heat.
6. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and beans.
7. Stir in the cayenne pepper.
8. Turn the heat up until Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne comes to a low boil.
9. Cook, stirring occasionally, and boil down until the mixture is thick and the beans are tender. If necessary, add salt to taste.
10. Add minced chili (jalapeño or habañero) and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
11. Remove from heat, ladle into a large soup bowl, sprinkle a few pinches of fresh cilantro on top and serve.
12. Enjoy your Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne with rice, salad or a baked potato
What are the health benefits of spicy, meatless Vegetarian Chilli?
In addition to being high in fiber and void of animal or trans fats, this easy vegetarian chilli con carne recipe delivers a healthy dose of Capsaicin, the active ingredient of chili peppers. Cardiac health was probably the first bullet point on Capsaicin’s resume. But recent science suggests a myriad of other reasons as to why one should adopt chili peppers as part of their routine diet.
Also, due to the processed tomato products, it is rich in Lycopene, a potent antioxidant that offers numerous health benefits including (according to several studies) prevention of certain types of cancer – most notably prostate cancer.
So my advice is, “Give Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne a try’ even if you aren’t a veggie