Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
A Carnivore, Vegan and Celiac walk into a bar together, starved after a long journey..
No? Not buying it? OK, maybe these aren’t the most likely of dinner companions, but they can be. Starting today. With Beyond Meat’s Beef-Free Crumbles.
This Veggie Chili recipe will knock all six of their socks off.
First, a little background on why I’m so flipping excited about this new product. My daughter Jacqi used to make me a veggie chili recipe so good you’d weep at the last spoonful. And then I went gluten-free, which meant the wheat- and soy-based faux veggie crumbles from Trader Joe’s were exiled. And just like that, my supply of veggie chili dried up. We tried a few beans-only versions, but nothing compared to the toothsome texture and flavor of her original recipe. This drought went on for a good year or more.
Then one afternoon I was racing through the aisles at Whole Foods, when one of those kiosk guys in front of the meat section held out a sample. I gave it a quick glance. “Thanks, but I don’t eat meat.”
“Neither do I, ” he said. “This is a meat-free veggie product by Beyond Meat.”
“Yeah, but is it gluten-free?” I asked warily.
Whaaaaaattt? I inspected the packaging and ingredients list. Satisfied, I popped it in my mouth, bracing myself for tire rubber effect. Without saying a word, I turned on my heels and headed down the aisle.
“Jacqi,” I whispered excitedly into my phone, somewhere between the frozen peas and the artisan gelato. “Guess what?”
Fire up the chili pot. We’re back, baby.
I hounded her for three straight days. On the eve of the most epic day of the viewing calendar she finally relented, provided there was no interruption to her binge-watching marathon of the previous season. A deal was struck:
Yes, that’s the original badass Daenerys Targaryen sitting atop my rice cooker, no less fierce even when shrunk down to smart-phone size. (And her loyal sidekick, the curly-mop girl whose name no one remembers but it’s all good, since her only job is to Yes-Your-Grace Daenerys to death as she swashbuckles her way closer to Westeros.)
Sidebar. No one call me when that episode airs. I’m serious. That, and the blessed day when King Joffrey gets his head served on a platter (personally, I’m pulling for death by dragon breath), are the only antidotes to my residual trauma from the Red Wedding.
But back to the chili. Was there any better way to bring in the season premier of Game of Thrones this past Sunday? By the time 9pm rolled around, my glad bag was busting at the seams. Veggie Chili and Tyrion Lannister in the same day.
Life was good.
(BTW, I dare you to serve the below recipe to the most prolific meat-eater in your family, without breathing a word about the ingredients.)
Hint: it’s even better the next day in a Taco Salad with a little Chipotle Chili Salad Dressing.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced coarsely
- 1 portabello mushroom, diced
- 2 tsp. chopped roasted garlic puree (Tessamae's makes a nice shortcut, but you can sub fresh garlic to taste)
- 1 package Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire-Roasted tomatoes recommended)
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free brand)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar substitute (coconut palm sugar. etc.)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onions over low-medium heat until wilted.
- Add portobello mushrooms and garlic (puree), and cook down until softened.
- Add Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in all remaining seasonings/ingredients, and mix well. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or longer.
- Serve hot.