Bombastic Beyond Meat Chili

All vegan, all flavour.

As a foodie, food taster, menu creator and also flavour-seeker, making a hearty vegan chili is NO small feat. Beans are delicious and all but can fall flat quick if just married into a tomato bath with a sprinkle of spices without much layering.

Let’s face it, meat does kinda build some OMMPH to a good, hearty chili as it fills in the gaps and adds texture and bite. Don’t worry though, this chili is cruelty-free, is full of ridiculous flavour, requires some patience but I promise, you will get one kick-butt, delicious, over-the-top chili that won’t leave you hanging.

Now listen, I KNOW there are other Beyond Meat chili recipes on the internet, that all claim to have the best flavour. I have googled them all and some actually look pretty amazing and others well, as Borat would say…”not so much”. I do challenge you that before the winter is over, give this recipe a try, send me pics or drop comments of your beautiful chili and my most favourite, proprietary recipe that I know will impress those carnivore friends of yours you have been hoping to convert 😉

Flavour layering 101

Before we get started, I have to talk to you about flavour layering. In chili, it is soooo important. So please do not dump your spices in the pot hoping to create a shortcut and get the same results. Be patient with my layering, and if your palatte needs a little more or less, get creative but with chili, less is more. (Wait-did i just say that when using a word like BOMBASTIC to describe chili??!!!) No really, it is in the case of chili. THAT’S my secret. Now you know.

Ingredients

1 can kidney, black and pinto beans each – all rinsed very well, drained, set aside

1 can regular beans in tomato sauce

1 can can marzano tomatoes in juice (do not cheap out on this!)

1 Cup corn kernels

1 large bell pepper of each: green, orange, red, large dice

2 ribs celery, small dice

1.5 medium onions, small dice

1 Cup water

1/4 Cup Whisky or 3 tsp apple cider vinegar

3 large dice plum tomatoes, seeded

1 block Beyond meat

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 tsp sugar

1/2 poblano pepper, seeded, sprayed with olive oil and roasted in oven until charred slightly

1 tsp chili power, cumin, salt and smoked paprika plus 1 sm thumb of whole cinnamon stick and 1/2 tsp oregano + 1/2 tsp garlic powder

VEGAN AVOCADO LIME CREMA (for garnish)

1 large avocado

1 tsp olive oil

1.5 limes, juiced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C vegan sour cream

Blend all ingredients until smooth. refrigerate until ready to use as a garnish on chili.

METHOD

  1. Take JUST your beans, corn, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and water and place into a crock pot. Turn on high and cook as you prep other ingredients.
  2. Roast your poblano pepper and small dice, placing into crock pot with beans and water.
  3. Turn pan onto medium heat in oil and saute onion until translucent. Add celery and saute for 2 minutes. Add remaining spices and cook for another minute.
  4. Incorporate your peppers into the crock pot and cook for two hours on high.
  5. Add beyond crumble in large chunks, breaking slightly but keeping meaty. Turn up pan if needed to get the product hot and sizzling. After 5 minutes, add liquid smoke and booze or vinegar along with the sugar, and cook down for a minute or so. Remove from heat.
  6. Turn heat to low and add beyond crumble. Remove cinnamon stick at this point. Cook on low for 3-4 hours total. Check spices and heat and adjust salt as you wish.

Serve immediately with crema, tortilla chips, cilantro, lime wedges, red onion, vegan cheese or whatever your heart desires.

Last but not least, enjoy and tell your friends!

Magical Breakfast Burritos

This burrito might just be the super-powered vegan and gluten free breakfast miracle you have been searching for.

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a beautiful weekend in the Okanagen, experiencing amazing food, wine and a wrap that I have not been able to stop dreaming about. My friend and I landed at a kitschy coffee shop that served amazing local java and a vegan wrap that even left my carnivore travel companion in a puddle of her own drool.

Desperate to recreate what I have been missing, I amped up the breakfast treat by adding a whole lot of high-nutrient fillings to really get your Monday off to the right start, or at the very least, make up a little bit for what you did to your body over the weekend at the wine bar.

First, I began with dandelion. I remember working for an Italian family when I was young and them selling frozen chopped dandelion in bags. Like most, I turned my nose up and thought who in the world would purchase weeds to actually consume. Turns out dandelion is amazing in soup and you can easily remove the bitterness with a cold bath. Also, pairing this with a sweet potato gives a bit of balance which is needed. I also blanched the sweet potato and then just sprinkled with hot smoked paprika and a bit of raw coconut sugar to bring out the flavour and also give it a nice crisp on the outside while not over cooking it.

Moving on to the tofu scramble, while scrambling tofu can seem a little bit scary at first to those who are die-hard egg fans, I found that adding a bit of nutritional yeast and cooking in a bit of water and plain soy milk did give a bit more creaminess and egg texture.

The whole thing gets stuffed with sweet pea shoots, some pan fried peppers and spicy green pesto. YUM YUM.

TOFU SCRAMBLE:

Take a half block of soft tofu and crumble into medium-heat pan. Add quarter cup of soy milk and quarter cup water, 1 tblsp nutritional yeast, half tsp tumeric, salt to taste. cook until liquid dissolved.

ROASTED SLICED SWEET POTATO:

Blanch sweet potato which is peeled and sliced in half. Remove and slice into strips, coating with a spray of olive oil, then sprinkle with hot smoked paprika and a half tsp of raw coconut sugar. Salt and pepper and place into 425 degree oven for approx. 25 min, turning once. Remove.

WILTED DANDELION GREENS:

Take one bunch organic dandelion greens and plunge into cold water bath with salt for ten minutes. Drain. Steam greens in steamer until wilted-about 3 minutes.

SPICY TRUFFLE PESTO:

Take one bunch fresh basil, quarter cup toasted pine nuts, 2 tsp truffle oil, half a squeezed lemon and half cup olive oil and place into blender. Add salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp red chili flake, 2 cloves roasted garlic and pulse for 8-10 pulses or until mealy and blended. Do not over blend.

ASSEMBLY:

Take a rice or gluten-free burrito wrap and warm in a moist towel in microwave to soften. Remove and heat up pan to medium heat as we will toast the burrito to give a good shell on the outside so none of your yummy filling seeps out!

Place tofu scramble first, then wilted dandelion, sweet potato then thinly sliced pan-fried red pepper (you can do this quick once you remove your tofu from the pan) all on top of one another. Top with pesto and pea shoots and then fold in sides and roll like a burrito. Toast for a few minutes on each side until browned. Top with more pea shoots and enjoy!

Recipe makes two large burritos and enough pesto for a week of dipping afterwards!

Quinoa + Wild Rice Pilaf with ” Scallops “

quinoa + wild rice pilaf with ” scallops ”
pea puree, blistered tomato

Incorporating plant into your regular, every day meals doesn’t need to be a lot of work. The biggest challenge will always be protein, and finding ways to sneak that in without filling your plate full of beans.

I am not saying beans don’t have their place in your vegetarian or plant-forward eating lifestyle, but they can get pretty boring, pretty fast. I remember my brother telling me when he converted to vegetarian how he struggled to really find good protein alternatives. This was before many of the pea protein powders, plant milks and the infamous “nooch” or nutritional yeast was available. So he got pretty skinny and ate a lot of crap.

What I love about this recipe is that it looks like a meat dish, but it isn’t. The quinoa provides about 8 g of protein per cup, and pine nuts higher in protein than any other plant food, you are getting a protein-packed plant meal. The wild rice has 40 percent more protein than regular rice, and the blistered tomatoes add vitamin C and lycopenes to your meal without taking away the nutrients or flavour. You literally get a mouth-watering tomato-bomb in your mouth, along with the nutty pilaf and caramelized “scallops”.

This recipe hits all notes-and I know you will love it 🙂

Made in as little as 30 minutes, and is elegant enough for a dinner party, or just a special meal for you. You can remove the “scallops” and add a side salad for a pretty lunch option that is ready in 20 minutes.

Enjoy!


quinoa + wild rice pilaf with ” scallops ”
pea puree, blistered tomato

Ready in: 30 minutes (plus soak time for rice)

For Pilaf:

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp Italian herbs

1 Cup vegetable stock (organic preferred)

1/2 C Wild rice, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes

1/2 C Quinoa

tsp oil, for cooking

2 tblsp toasted pine nuts

METHOD:

Sautee shallot in oil for 2 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min more.

Pour in vegetable stock and add rinsed, wild rice

Cook for 15 minutes with lid on, on medium heat.

Toast pine nuts on low in separate pan until golden.

After 15 minutes, add remaining ingredients and another 1/2 C liquid. add more stock as needed during cooking process but use your judgement.

Cook pilaf for another 15 minutes on medium low.

Remove from heat and set aside.

TIP: While your pilaf is cooking, begin cooking other items! (see below)

For “Scallops”:

2 japanese eggplants, peeled and sliced into medallions

1 sheet nori (optional)

1/2 C hot water

2 tsp sugar and 2 tblps balsamic vinegar

METHOD:

Heat water to almost boiling.

Add nori and swirl. Remove from heat.

Add sugar and vinegar. Strain into bowl.

Add medallions. if you wish, you can “score” the medallions to look like scallops.

Soak for 5 minutes.

Turn pan on medium heat.

Pour liquid and medallions into pan and cover.

Reduce until sauce begins to form-about 6 minutes.

Turn and cook until medallions begin to caramelize.

In the last minute, add a tbsp of vegan or real butter. Baste.

Salt and pepper to taste.

For pea Puree:

1 C organic peas

4 tbsp cream or unsweetened plant-based milk (if using this, add 2 tsp flour)

3 tbsp water

1 tsp pesto

Lemon

Method:

Cook peas in pesto and hot milk and water for five minutes, until tender, on medium heat. (Boiling removes some flavour).

Puree in blender until smooth.

Add a squeeze of lemon and place in squeeze bottle or ladle and smear for a nicer effect on y our plate.


ASSEMBLY:

Smear or decorate your plate with pea puree.

Add pilaf and place scallops on top.

Blister a few heirloom or cherry tomatoes in a hot pan for 2 minutes, rolling around constantly.

Garnish with pine nuts, pea shoots or parsley, if you wish.

Enjoy!