Search for a tasty Vegetarian Chili
I'm making a more traditional chili wtih beef & sausage for a football party, but need to do a vegie version also. In addition to black, chick, pinto & kidney beans, I was thiking tomotaes, cilantro, red. green, yellow & orange peppers (maybe a habanero to spice it up a bit), celery, onions, butternut squash and maybe tofu & mushroom. This is obviously something I've just creating on my own. Any other suggestions?
There is a terrific recipe in the revised (1997) Joy of Cooking for Wild Caribbean Chili, a vegetarian dish with beans, lots of good spices, orange juice and zest (the secret ingredient) etc. If you don't have a copy, I can dig mine out and look it up.
Nix the squash, mushrooms and tofu. Stick to your basic recipe and add more beans. That's all I do for my veggie chili and it's great.
I agree that making your regular recipe with maybe a few more peppers and beans is the best way to go, however I have found that veggie chili frequently needs a little something to cut the acid of the tomotoes since it has less fat and obviously no meat. Two of my favorites are a little bit of brown sugar or a little bit of unsweetened chocolate.
My partner is the chili maker in our household and has learned to make wonderful veggie chilis for me over the years. A few things he has done. No written recipes, but a few things he does:
Sometimes he uses a meat substitute (sorry, I know this sounds atrocious to some folks). Our go to sub is Gimme Lean sausage. He also sometimes uses soyrizo. He frequently puts corn in the chili, and sometimes puts in roasted tomatillos. Because you miss the wonderful fat of meat, make sure you use a well-flavored fat in its place, adding some in at the end of cooking. He almost always adds cocoa powder and cinnamon to his red chilis, both veggie and meat chilis. On occasion he adds chocolate. He takes his time on all chilis, roasting all of the vegetables, slow simmers, etc., but this seems to be more critical with the veggie chilis.
I love having some smokiness in my veggie chili. I sometimes love having chopped mushrooms (portabellos) in my chili, sometimes am put off by it.
I would do the regular chili minus the meat (of course) but add wheatberries. I've done this before with excellent results.