Can people hibernate as well? These freezing temps make me want to burrow under the covers, sleep and sleep some more. Serious question- when it comes to bed, how early is too early? Since BL was gone on a guys trip this weekend, I indulged myself on Friday night– I was in bed by 7PM, reading a few magazines before I fell asleep.
Freezing temperatures also make me crave chili, soups and hearty stews. I love the idea of pouring myself a steaming bowl, then heading to the couch to curl up with a movie or chat with a friend. It’s how I love ending the workday and this chili is a must-make.
If you like hearty chilis, you are going to love this one. I wanted to create a vegan chili that wasn’t the typical meatless type. This one isn’t packed with vegetables and that’s on purpose. Instead, it’s got chunks of tempeh, beans and lots of spices. That’s it. This is the perfect chili to scoop up cornbread with or serve over noodles, Cincinnati style.
The key is crumbling the tempeh fine; I use a box grater to get this done. Then, I lightly fry the tempeh in oil to give it good body and flavor. Once your done, the tempeh should be golden brown and almost crispy before stirred into the other ingredients.
For the perfect amount of spice, I learned this trick from Food Network. Broil chilis (I opted for Anaheim chilis) until blackened and the skins easily slip off. Then, puree with cilantro. This spicy base pairs perfectly with hearty beans and tempeh. It’s also a great way to adjust the heat. If you want more, choose spicier chilis. If you want less, choose mild ones.
I know I call for a lot of chili powder here, it’s not a typo. I can’t get enough of Penzey’s chili powder, but use your favorite brand. If you’re using a super spicy powder, then you might want to put in a little, taste and then gradually add some more. Can’t wait for you to try this one!
- 6 large Anaheim chile peppers
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces tempeh
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I love Pacific Foods)
- 2 (15 -ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Place the chiles on a sheet pan and place underneath a preheated broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil, turning with tongs, until lightly charred, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand about 5 minutes. Uncover and scrape away the charred skin, then cut the peppers in half and remove and discard the seeds, stems and membranes.
- Place the chilis and cilantro into a blender and puree until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- In a large soup pan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion, garlic and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooking, crumble the tempeh. I use a box grater to get my tempeh nice and crumbly. Add the tempeh along with the spices and cook until fragrant and tempeh is crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir often, so the tempeh doesn't stick.
- Deglaze the pot by adding the vegetable broth, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in the reserved pureed chiles, beans and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until chili is thick and flavors have developed, about 1-2 hours.
- Remove from heat and serve with any desired toppings.
Recipe adapted from Guy Fieri
PS- I’m clearly a chili fanatic. If you love spicy beans as much as I do, check out these previous recipes: Black Bean & Bear Chili | White Bean Chili | Pumpkin Chili | Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili | Indian Dal Chili | Chili over Polenta | Chili Cheese Dip | and, um, another Tempeh Chili.