Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vegetarian Cinncinati Chili

You would not believe the amount of cooking/baking I did over my looong weekend! Down here in the South we got a pretty big snowstorm (esp for us!). I'm not a fan of snow. We're not friends. There, I said it. More on that later. But for now, here's an incredibly comforting chili...

This was one of my favorite meals before becoming vegetarian! Like top 5. You have no idea how pleased I was that it transferred well. :) And frankly, you can barely tell it's not meat. This is another one of those meals where the meat flavor was never needed so it's just not noticeable when it's removed.

Vegetarian Cincinnati Chili
based on Food Network Magazine
serves 3-4
  • 1 Tb. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 recipe spice mix, recipe below
  • 2 veggie burgers, thawed
  • 4 oz tomato sauce (1/2 small can)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 Tb. cider vinegar
  • 1 Tb. soy sauce
  • 2 oz cooked spaghetti per person
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz colby or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Spice Mix
  • 1 Tb. chili powder
  • 1 Tb. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

Mix all spices together and set aside. This is one of those fast moving recipes where it's essential to have everything measured out and ready to go.

Chop onion and garlic. Use your handy dandy chopper if you have one. :) I should form a club.

Chop the thawed veggie burgers.

Here's the culprit of stares when I make this recipe. It's very polarizing. I've had people HATE this recipe because of it. Me? I love any excuse to put chocolate into dinner! ;)

Chop the chocolate and measure out the vinegar and soy sauce. We are finally ready to begin!

Heat oil in a large pot. Saute half of the onion and all of the garlic cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes.

Add spice mix. Cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add chopped burgers and cook about 5 minutes. Add 1 Tb. salt.

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and 1 1/2 cups water. Simmer the mixture until slightly thicker.

Add chocolate, vinegar and soy sauce and cook until thickened but still slightly soupy, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Now, there is an assembly to Cincinnati chili. First, place 2 oz spaghetti in a large bowl. Top with a large ladle of chili. Top with 3/4 cup kidney beans. Now you have two options: onions and cheese, or just cheese (4-way or 3-way). I've had it both ways and prefer it without the onions but that's just my opinion. It depends on whether or not you like raw onions, which I'm not a fan of.

If you need a cheese suggestion, here ya have it. This cheese was AMAZING. Such great flavor. Just make sure your cheese has a very sharp flavor.

Nutritional Information (for 1/4 chili on 2 oz WW spaghetti): 551 calories, 19g fat (8.4g sat), 75g carbs, 18g fiber, 32g protein

Nutritional Information (for 1/3 chili on 2 oz WW spaghetti): 604 calories, 22g fat (9g sat), 80g carbs, 20g fiber, 36g protein

Pretty high for us actually. But this meal is soo good. Definitely worth a lighter lunch that day, in my opinion. ;) Like I said before, this meal is polarizing. I have heard this on TV specials about it and have witnessed it as we had a guest just HATE it once. It's such a unique flavor...but I will say that both of us just love it. Really, it's that good. So at least try it! Who knows, maybe over spaghetti will become the only way you serve chili!

While this wasn't made over the weekend, it sure would have been a welcome meal since we were snowed in. Like I said, I'm not a fan of snow. And when you live in a place that rarely gets snow, it's normally not a problem. But apparently every one else in Georgia ADORES snow and they don't like it when I curse it.

But, be subjective for a minute. Georgia is not New York. I have a right as a Georgia citizen to expect my snow interaction to be very low. It's very clear that our government does because of the way snow gets handled down here. Schools have been closed for 3 days and today is my first day back to work (hellooo small paycheck!). The mail just started today. FedEx and UPS aren't even delivering. And I have fabulous shoes supposed to already have been delivered. BOO.

Another thing, Georgia doesn't get pretty snow. This time we got the nice kind even. Nice, fluffy snow. About 7 inches. Then, the next day comes. And it's not quite as cold so it rains. Then the night comes. Everything freezes. The roads are pure ice. The nice, fluffy snow is now under a 1/4" sheet of ice.  I have mammoth icicles on my porch that could create a serious Grey's Anatomy situation.

Even Antonio didn't like the snow.

Case in point: me and snow are not friends. And I want spring. So that I can run outside with my new shoes. If they ever get delivered.


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