Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe EVER!

Awesome recipe below, though this isn't technically a food blog.
I typically blog funny stuff, mostly about how I'm kind of a mess.
Please check out the archives and favorite posts on the right. Thanks!


1 package of vegetarian taco filling
(Kiki says: SoyTaco rocks, as does MorningStar Farms' ground beef. I tried some stuff called GoLean last night, and it didn't break down very easily and required lots of fork mashing. In any case, the stuff that comes in a tube should do the trick.)
1 Large onion, severely diced
1 Green pepper, also severely diced
2 Cloves garlic, likewise diced up really fine
1 Jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and very finely diced
Ginger Root-- Diced to equal about as much as 1/2 of your thumb
3 TBS oil, I prefer canola
1/2 TBS Chili Powder
2 ts Cumin
1 (rounded) ts cayenne
1/2 TBS salt, adjusted to taste depending on the beans used
1/2 ts Cocoa Powder
1 (rounded) TBS ground Mustard Seed
1 can (the big ones) (@ 1 pound) tomatoes, I prefer the crushed kind
4 (15 oz) cans of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6 oz) can of Tomato Paste
some water
some wine


Open all the cans of beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Set aside.
Drain and rinse the beans until all the canning fluid is gone. Set aside (typing 'set aside' makes me feel all cook-bookey...).

Heat the oil in a big ol' pot. A non-metal pot is best, really. (Kiki says: El_G is suggesting Pyrex/glass type pots because metals can interact with the tomato juices, but he also says that's being a bit particular. I use metal and it's fine.)

Dice up the onion, peppers, ginger and garlic. Dice them up as finely as is possible with a knife, although food processors do a great job of this as well.
Saute the diced vegetables on medium-low heat until the onions are clear, but not brown.
Add some red wine if you want to.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir.
Add the tomato paste and some water. Stir.
Add the kidney beans.
Add the taco filling.
Stir, stir, stir.
If it looks too thick, add some more water.
Reduce the heat to a very low flame.
Add all of the spices.
Stir some more.
Put the lid on the pot and let it all simmer for at least an hour. More simmering won't hurt it, but I usually serve it once the onions aren't crunchy.

* * * * *
A Brief History

My ex, El_Gallo, put this recipe together ages ago, and re-emailed* it to me today. If you use the right fake meat, it thickens just like "real" chili, but is ever so much more healthful and scrumptious!

I had never liked chili -- hell, I'd never even liked beans before I tried this -- but for whatever reason (the weather, my mood, my newfound San Francisco open-mindedness) it just hit the spot lo those many moons ago.

Now, every year I make it when we're experiencing weather like this. Brrrr!


*El_G has emailed me this recipe no fewer than five times. I thought I had it stored in my Gmail, but apparently not. So now I figure I am immortalizing it by putting it here. No matter where I am, I can Google "El_Gallo vegetarian chili" et voila! Bon appetite!


  1. emily teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee1:25 PM, January 17, 2007

    Severely chopped? YIKES!

  2. Vegitarian chili is just wrong. The reason Blogger won't let you uprgade is because you posted this recipe.

  3. Ericha2@yahoo.com4:33 PM, January 17, 2007

    Yay! Another recipe for the crock pot! Yes...I own and actually use a crock pot. It's great for those of us with no time to cook. You get home and it's already cooked. =)

    I wonder if the soy would break down if it cooked on low for 8 hours? Only one way to find out. Unless El_G has tried it and can share some wisdom.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Maybe he'll make his special chili for his wife sometime. So far, the closest he's gotten is buying all the ingredients and letting them rot.

  5. OMG, El Gallo got married? I had a secret crush on him!

  6. Also, I see you have Stephanie on one of you flikr pics. Aren't her babies awesome!

  7. can i just ask... what is a non-metal pot (that can be heated and not melt on the stove)???

  8. nicole,

    I'm assuming it's stonewear. Corningwear, etc.

    I might be wrong though. I know you can put them in the oven, I'm not sure about the stovetop, though.


  9. You posted a vegetarian recipe? I think my love for you just increaced 10 fold. I've been looking for more soup recipes in these cold months and have yet to find the perfect veggie chili, I'll have to give this one a shot. If you want to brach out into lentil stew you should e-mail me.

    And are you sure you didn’t mean non-stick instead of non-metal pan?

  10. Have you ever had Chicken Chili? If not, I'll send you a recipe. It requires a crock pot, but ohmygod it's SO good.

  11. well, whaddya know. i just made this last week (yes, THIS... THE recipe... you'd sent it to me years ago)! took it with us when we went to vermont... a total of 6 people ate it... and pronounced it the best they'd ever had. wouldn't believe it was vegetarian till i showed them the "meat" package.

    now, i DO have mad skills in the kitchen...
    but i made sure to let them know that the responsibility for such bitchin' chili definitely falls with el_g. ;)

    and... yeah, it's vegetarian... but it's SO much yummier than the real kind. :)

    (and, incidentally... it's the BEANS that make chili, chili... the MEAT is not necessary for actual chili.)

  12. Kiki, I'm here in California!! Whee!

  13. bobo,

    you can replace the fake meat taco filling with an equal amount of ground carniverous chili snob.

    MMMMM-MMMM good!

  14. Mmmm your recipes look delicous!
    you have Great blog from Jeena :)

    visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

  15. Sadly, I just had to look up this recipe on your blog. My original recipe, scrawled on a ten year old piece of note paper, is nowhere I can find it.

    Thank you Al Gore! Thank you for the intertubes!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts