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Vegan Chili with Secret Ingredients
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Vegan Chili with Secret Ingredients

When I released my first vegan book, The Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker (Book Publishing Company, Inc. 2005), people loved to share with me their favorite recipes from the book. More than any other recipe, the Fiesta Soup took the prize for being the tastiest recipe. I raised my kids on that soup. When other mothers were giving their kids chicken soup for a cold, I relied on the high concentration of Vitamin C in the tomatoes to knock out the cold. Worked every time. Sometimes, they even faked being sick just to get the soup! My personal favorite was the All Veggie All the Time Chili. At the time I created this recipe, TVP crumbles were still a ways into the future. So I relied on diced zucchini to replace the meat in the chili recipe. I have changed the recipe quite a bit over the years as it has evolved along with all the wonderful vegetarian and vegan products we now have available. It's one of my all-time favorite vegan dishes and it's so versatile you can make several dishes out of just one big pot of chili.

This recipe can be carried out in your slow cooker or in a big pot on the stovetop. 

  • 1 12 ounce bag TVP crumbles such as Boca, Morningstar Farms or Quorn
  • (only Boca is 100% vegan, Morningstar and Quorn are vegetarian)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney or black beans (your choice)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 4.5 ounce can mild green chilies w/liquid
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons dry cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Optional:
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • Soy sour cream
  • Shredded soy cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole

Pour olive oil into pot. If using a stovetop pot, sauté the onions for 3 minutes, then add TVP crumbles, stirring well to coat the crumbles. If you are using a slow cooker, just add all the ingredients, stir, and set to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

If using a pot on the stove, add the rest of the ingredients, then set to simmer on low for about 30 to 40 minutes. 

You won't believe how good the cinnamon and cocoa make this chili. It's a happy surprise your mouth won't be expecting. 

Serve this chili in a bowl with shredded (soy) cheddar cheese, a dollop of (soy) sour cream or guacamole, and some corn chips.

You can also serve chili over a bed of fresh green romaine or iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes and onions for a taco salad type meal.

Spoon the chili atop a vegan hot dog for a kickass chili dog.

And you thought you had to give up chili dogs! No way. Serve it atop a layer of corn chips with some (soy) cheddar for nachos, or fold into tortillas for burritos. 


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.



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Michelle A. Rivera is the author of several books including HOSPICE HOUNDS, Animals and Healing at the Borders of Death (Lantern Books); CANINES IN THE CLASSROOM, Raising Humane Children through Interactions with Animals;(Lantern Books) DO DOGS HAVE BELLY BUTTONS? 100 Questions and Answers about Dogs(Adams Media); THE SIMPLE LITTLE VEGAN SLOW COOKER and THE SIMPLE LITTLE VEGAN DOG BOOK(Book Publishers, Inc.) and ON DOGS AND DYING (Purdue University Press). She is also an essayist and has been published in the vegetarian essay book “Voices from the Garden.” She is a freelance writer/editor and along with her Certified Therapy Dogs, a Humane Educator and R.E.A.D tutor. Michelle is a past blogger for and a writer for several online publications including eHow, Livestrong, Rachel Ray, The Daily Puppy, USA Today, Cracked and others. She has two Certified Delta Society Therapy Dogs: Murphy, a Golden Retriever, and Tabitha, a Standard Poodle; and two cats. All are rescued animals. Michelle lives in South Florida with her husband, John, an attorney, and is the proud grandmother of three lovely children, Austin, Alexander and Adrienne.

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  1. Veganara
    Vote no 4, it sounds incredible! You may also be interested in my two latest blogs, Roast Vegetable Tart With Tapenade, and For Life, Love and Liberty! if you like them, please vote.
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    Virtually Homemade
    Wow - this chili sounds great! Like the addition of cocoa powder. Check out my fresh salsa post and vote if you like! Voted!
  3. tuckapaws
    Good stuff in that there chili!!!
  4. evalovesbend
    Yum, looks delicious! Voted. Check out my post the art of popsicles and vote if you like it :)


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