Friday, November 10, 2017

White-Bean, Green-Chile Chili

Once Upon A Time...
There was a chili cook-off.
And I won.
The end.

I admit I haven't been blogging much lately, and here's the thing:
I still love creating new things and cooking vegan awesomeness for people, but often I feel like I've run out of interesting or unique recipes to share. The vegan blogging world has grown exponentially since I started scratching out recipes that my kids liked, and posting tacky little photos to go with them. My kids are grown, my kitchen has downsized, and my recipes are usually just for ME. But every now and then I DO get inspired, and feel I have something worth sharing, so keep checking back if you're the one person still following along....

So. Back to my story:
"Sky's The Limit" is a wonderful local animal sanctuary (mostly chickens!) and when they announced they were having a fund-raiser vegan chili cook-off, I decided to improve on my (2nd-Place, 6 years ago) winning chili recipe and compete again...

 Since I struggle with pretty crazy arthritis in my hands, my knife grip isn't that great, so I enlisted the help of my best-best friend Sherrill, to help with the slicing and dicing and general goofing off in the kitchen... She was also a great taste-tester because, as most of you know, I don't even LIKE chili!!

Well, we had a blast, because cooking with your best friend is always awesome and and I think we cooked up the BEST batch of chili EVER!
To make a long story short, we won "Best Overall Chili" and "Most Unique Chili" at the contest.
And, winning or not, it was SUCH a fun event and I hope they continue to hold this contest every year!
But, should you want to re-create the chili, here you go!
My basic "winning" recipe NOT a secret; but it feels long and complicated when I write it all down, so good luck with all these steps! And just know, I don't follow recipes well, and do a lot of taste adjustments, so if it doesn't win you any prizes, it's not my fault.


  • 3 cups dry white beans of your choice.
I used ½ small white beans and ½ Mayacoba (or “Peruano” or Canary) beans (found in the Mexican Food Section)

COOK THE BEANS AS FOLLOWS: (Credit for this bean cooking/flavor method goes to JL Fields and her book Vegan Pressure Cooking, which you really should have in your library):

  • 3 cups dry beans soaked overnight
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 cups water (or part broth)
  • 4 tsp red miso
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Rinse and drain the beans. 
In an uncovered pressure cooker, heat oil, then cook onion and maple syrup for 10 minutes until well browned but not burned. Stir frequently – if they start to stick add a bit of water – you want them caramelized

and soft, but not burned. 
When onions are done, add all remaining ingredients except soy sauce, stir and cover pressure cooker.
Bring to high pressure, cook for 10 min and then do a natural release.
Beans should mash between two fingers or on your tongue. If not soft enough, simmer a while until they are.

Stir and taste beans, if too salty, rinse JUST A LITTLE. 
If too bland, add soy sauce, bullion powder or broth to taste.
Set aside 1 cup cooked beans with some liquid.
Drain remaining (aprox) 4+ cups beans very well.

Rest of ingredients - - 

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen white corn kernels
  • 4 cups good vegetarian chicken (or vegetable) broth
*I use powdered “Seitenbacher” brand bullion powder + water, and and mix it slightly less than full strength to keep salt levels down
  • 1 13 oz. container BUENO® Autumn Roast Frozen Hatch New Mexico Green Chiles (available in New Mexico and at some Whole Foods).
(OR equivalent amount fresh roasted, peeled and chopped poblano or Hatch peppers; just don’t use canned green chiles!!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried, crushed oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 7-oz. packages Beyond Meat® Chick'n Strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ white onion, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced finely
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced VERY fine (ONLY if you want more heat!!)
Drain the home-cooked beans that you made above.
In crock pot or in a heavy pot on the stove, combine the 4 cups drained beans, green chile (and liquid that’s with it), corn and broth. 
The secret here is to get a broth you REALLY like, it'll make or break the end resulting flavor of your chili.
Add bay leaf and oregano and bring to simmer. 
Let simmer while preparing Beyond Meat® "Chick'n".

To prepare Beyond Meat® Chick'n:
Coarsely chop (cut strips aprox. In quarters) the strips and sautee in a bit of oil just until cooked and firmed up. Set aside, let cool a bit and then "shred" randomly with your hands or two forks. This will take a while!
Spread shredded-crumbled chick'n out on a cookie sheet and place in a low oven (250°F) for about ten - 15 min or until slightly "dried out" just a bit (NOT crispy dry!) and starting to get a bit of light toasty color. This step helps the chick'n hold it's texture in the chili and not disintegrate into mushiness.
Add chick'n to simmering beans.
Taste and add another cup of broth or water (depending on how salty it is) if too thick.
In a frying pan, add oil and then sauté bell pepper, garlic, onions, and jalapeño (and as much of the habanero you want, if using) over medium heat until soft.
When vegetables are soft, add to bean mixture and continue to simmer on medium-low for about an hour, (or longer in crockpot) checking often to make sure it doesn't stick – add water or broth if needed.

Take the remaining cup of beans that you set aside earlier and puree in VitaMix (or other blender) until very smooth, and a consistency like sour-cream (add broth as needed). Add creamy blended beans to the cooking chili mixture.
Taste and adjust flavors!
I adjust to my liking with a tiny bit of salt, pepper, lime juice, hot sauce, tamari, and/or miso. Use whatever you think it needs here.
Remove bay leaf.
Serve now, or, (PRO TIP HERE) it’s much better better if cooled overnight and reheated the next day!!
Garnish with a spoonful of Cilantro Pesto…

Jalapeño-Cilantro Pesto
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed well
  • 3 jalapeños as needed (taste them, you want SOME "heat" but adjust to your tastes)
  • juice from five limes
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seed
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
If you have time, soak the cashews and pumpkin seeds several hours or over night.
Then, blend everything in your food processor until smooth (though still slightly "grainy" is fine). Drizzle/dollop a couple teaspoons on each bowl of Chili.


Unknown said...

It's been forever and a day since I visited and commented on your blog! So Sorry! I have recently re-worked my blogroll and hope you don't mind me adding you and visiting/commenting more often again! Jennifer @