Monday, March 5, 2012

Thrifty Recipe- Meatiest Vegetarian Chili

My husband and I are not "tofu people." We love a good steak, pulled pork, chicken, you name it. Until the past two weeks or so, I had only purchased tofu once, and that was to cube and put in a crock pot soup recipe. However, several factors have led me to begin to integrate it into our diet:

My dear friend Kimberly's blog, Badger Girl Learns to Cook, often mentions the virtues of tofu and other meat-free, clean eating meal alternatives. She wore me down! :)

We are adventurous eaters, and I always like to try cooking new things, so tofu seemed like a fun new challenge. It is also very quick to prepare.

Tofu is a very reasonably-priced protein. I've been getting two packages of extra firm organic tofu for $5 at my new favorite store, Sunflower Market. Have I mentioned how I am slightly obsessed with this grocery store? Ever since I started shopping there, I have found myself eating so many more fresh fruits and vegetables because their produce selection is amazing and very reasonably-priced. I see the store as a combination of the best parts of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Aldi.

Anyway, here is the recipe. The version on was for eight servings. I edited to make a half-recipe and made a few other tweaks as well. It turned out great. A good level of spice, and the tofu pieces stayed together and worked well with the bell peppers, onion, and beans. Even better, our two year old devoured two bowls.

Meatiest  Vegetarian Chili


1/3 cup olive oil

1 large white onion, chopped

1 each green, yellow, and red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cubed

2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon liquid hot pepper sauce, such as Green Tobasco

1. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until they start to become soft. Add the bell peppers; cook and stir until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, the whole process should take about 10 minutes. Lower heat and stir in garlic for about 30 seconds, then remove pan from heat.
2. Meanwhile in a seperate pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat and add cubed tofu, turn and flip tofu until golden brown on each side.
3. Pour the black beans into the slow cooker and set to Low. Stir in the vegetables, tofu, and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Stir gently and cover. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

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