Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Healthy 16-Bean Vegetarian Chili

So, my mom was recently put on a special diet by her doctor to help her get her system back in check. She has to go totally, completely vegetarian for a while and she really wasn't all that happy about it at first. I can understand this.

We eat really well around here -- tasty barbecued meats, yummy side dishes, and even the occasional dessert. I would be sort of bummed, too. Naturally, this called for the making of something really awesome (that also happened to be vegetarian) for her first day on her new diet though. That is the story of how this chili was born yesterday, but trust me when I say that the world is a better place for its existence. Seriously... praise this chili! It was a masterpiece.

As with before, this is my best guess at a recipe, because you know I don't really do the recipe thing. I wing it Rachel Ray style all the way. However, I do like sharing these things with you and helping you duplicate them, so I always give it my best shot.


1 package of 16-bean soup mix (it's just the beans -- no seasoning or anything like that)
1/2 package of Morning Star vegetarian crumbles
1 large onion
2 medium-sized jalapeno peppers
4 cloves of garlic
1 jar of Prego Heart Healthy tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)


- Do a rough chop on the onions and peppers so they're ready to go. Mince the garlic. Remember that leaving the ribs and seeds of the jalapenos in as part of your mixture adds heat, so include them or eliminate them according to your personal tastes.

- Toss the soy crumbles, onion, and peppers into a large pot or saucepan and sautee briefly over medium-high heat. After 5 minutes or so, throw in the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne if you are using it. Sautee for maybe 5 minutes more.

- Add your beans. (I like to soak mine overnight, but it's fine if you don't want to. Just allow for a longer cooking time.) Also add your tomato sauce (the whole jar). Add enough water to your chili to cover all your ingredients.

- Bring to a boil and then promptly turn your heat down to low. Let your chili simmer and make your house smell f-ing awesome until beans are tender and chili is well cooked. If you soaked your beans, allow maybe 3 hours. If you didn't, allow at least 4.

- Eat and enjoy.

- Come back to this blog and offer to give me all your money for creating such a kick-ass healthy recipe. (Just kidding... sort of.)

My mom, Seth and I all loved this chili. It's only 24 hours later and it's already all gone, leftovers and all. I totally recommend this to anyone on a low-calorie, low-sugar, low-salt, low-fat diet like my mother is right now... or really anyone who loves chili and is looking for a healthy way to enjoy it more often.
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