Chili Non Carne with Kidney Beans (Veggie Chili Recipe)


Lya’s school just served vegetarian chili for lunch and she begged me to replicate the meal she had this week. I was more than happy to oblige. To recreate the dish, I used store-bought vegetarian chorizo, red kidney beans, caramelized onions, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, crumbled firm tofu, roasted green bell peppers and jalapeños. I just mixed them in a crock pot and let the flavors simmer together.

I nested the chili in tortillas, added shredded cheese and secured them with little sticks decorated with cherry tomatoes. It’s not authentic Mexican cuisine, but it’s delicious and incredibly hearty.

1. Info for Chili Non Carne with Kidney Beans (Veggie Chili Recipe)

  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 251

2. Ingredients for Chili Non Carne with Kidney Beans (Veggie Chili Recipe)

  • 2 (12-ounce) packages soy chorizo
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1-½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1-½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 green bell peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeño green chile peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 9 ounces firm tofu (½ package), coarsely crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled and diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon onion chives, finely snipped
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 12 tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (I used sweet basil), as garnish

3. Directions:

  1. Dry-toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns. Place them in a spice grinder with oregano, chili powder and paprika (I use a coffee mill that I keep exclusively for grinding spices) until it becomes a fine powder. Set the seasoning mix aside.
  2. This step is optional but I find tomato skin unpleasant. Here’s a neat method to peel tomatoes. Make a small, shallow criss-cross cut at the bottom of the fresh tomatoes using a bread knife (I use a bread knife because the blade won’t bruise the fruit). Fill a small saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the water and wait for at least 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes quickly (I use a large strainer), then transfer to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking process. The skin of the tomatoes will come right off. Finely chop the tomato flesh. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat the canola oil. Cook the onions for about 6-8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer to a platter. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the minced garlic. Cook until slightly golden. Add the soy chorizo. Stir frequently. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and the seasoning mix. Set aside.
  5. Transfer all the ingredients to the crock pot (except the cheeses, sour cream and onion chives). Cover with vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook for about 4 hours. For the last 30-45 minutes, open the lid and let the liquid thicken. Check seasoning. Season with more salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Add onion chives. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of lime juice and avocado oil.
  6. Ladle the chili into a large serving bowl.
  7. Warm the tortillas and serve in a large platter with cheese on the side.
  8. Let everyone assemble their own tortillas. Spoon chili onto the tortillas, cover with cheese. I garnished them with sweet basil and cherry tomatoes.
  9. Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.
  10. Bon appétit!

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