Want some chili?

Justin is always quoting that line from some old movie (maybe Mr. Mom?). Maybe someone out there knows that line, too.

Last night I made chili and cornbread for the premiere of “Girls’ Night…starring Leti and Crystal.” We’ve decided to get together once a week and hang out. Last night included eating a delicious dinner of chili, hearts of romaine salad, and cornbread, then heading to the mall to shop at Eddie Rodriguez. We were very upset to find that the store had closed, the website no longer exists, and there seems to be no trace of this wonderful Latino fashion designer with sheer fabrics and beautiful styles. So we came back home and shopped on itunes.

This chili was my first experience with TVP, or textured vegetable protein. TVP is made from soybeans, and is dried, so it can be stored in the cabinet for a really long time. It’s super cheap…I paid 30 cents for about 1 1/2 cups of it from the bulk section at HEB (our local grocery store). When it’s cooked with liquids, it absorbs all the flavors surrounding it, and the texture is reminiscent of cooked ground meat. I was a little skeptical that it would taste too 1970’s hippie-like, but it was actually really good!

As for the chili itself, I was really happy with it. The sweet potatoes added a nice flavor, and the cashews gave it a nice crunch. The whole apartment smelled yummy while it was cooking, although afterward we had that “I just cooked something with cumin” smell lingering in the kitchen. Oh well, it’s the price you pay for good, homemade food.

Notes: This is actually half the original recipe, and still made enough to feed six people. I also added the green bell pepper about 5 minutes before the chili was done, because I wanted it a bit more tender. I added about a cup of water toward the end because the chili seemed dry.

Nutty Portobello Chili

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom, chopped (stems included)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large, heavy pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes, sweet potato, TVP, beans, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water and mix well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender.

Remove from the heat and stir in the bell pepper, cashews, and cilantro. Add a little hot water if the chili seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons.

2 responses to “Want some chili?”

  1. [kid]:”Want some Chili?” [man]:”You fed a baby CHILI?!”- “Mr. Mom” I love chili! But it has to be spicy. This recipe looks very tasty. I’ll have to give it a go! 🙂

  2. I knew I could count on you, Joey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *