Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour, largely inactive (The aurthor recommends leaving it overnight whenever possible though this destroys the vitamin in the vegetables making the dish no more mourishing than tinned chili.)
Donna says: If you haven’t tried Anne’s ULTIMATE VEGGIE CHILI recipe, put this on your “Must Try” list. It is easily the best veggie chili I have ever eaten. It has a fabulous rich, smoky flavor and texture and is very frugal. It is packed with budget-friendly healthy protein in the form of beans and tofu.
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed, excess water squeezed out 
- 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced jalapenos, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles, drained
- 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14-ounce) can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1 cup whole roasted cashews
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large stockpot, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are starting to soften. Stir in cumin, chipotle, and red pepper flakes. Crumble the thawed tofu into the mixture and sauté 5 minutes more.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add all tomatoes, jalapenos, green chiles, black beans, kidney beans, corn and cashews; mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- As the recipe stands, it’s an effortlessly vegan recipe. I personally prefer to add a little sour cream and grated sharp cheddar, but it stands alone perfectly well too, or you could use a vegan sour cream and/or cheese.
- The one technique that might be new to a lot of people is the freezing, thawing and crumbling of the tofu. This is a crucial step! The freezing process causes the moisture within the tofu to separate from the soybean curd, which results in a denser, chewier texture, which is perfect for crumbling into any recipe you would normally use ground beef, turkey, sausage, etc.
My favorite way to do this is, after defrosting the tofu, placing it in a clean dishtowel and wringing it out, thus squeezing the water out and crumbling the tofu at the same time. I usually crumble it a bit more by hand after I open the towel, just to make sure it’s even – and then right into the pot it goes!