I challenge you to prepare this for any chili loving carnivore and see if they can tell the difference. Just don't tell them it is vegan. Wait until after they have eaten it (providing they don't have a soy allergy as TVP, a key ingredient resembling ground meat, does contain soy).
I have played around with lots of vegetarian chili recipes and came up with this one because I find it simple to prepare yet complex in body and flavor. It is so hearty and filling. Please let me know how it turns out. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am Mama Ash, a nickname bestowed upon me in my college days in Humboldt County long before I actually had children of my own.
Mama Ash's Meaty Vegan Chili
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
4 Tablespoons chili powder (I used Whole Foods Market 365 brand, Valle del Sol Chili Powder)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
3 vegetable bouillon cubes (I used Rapunzel brand, Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs flavor)
1 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein. I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
4 cups water
1 fifteen-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 six-ounce can tomato paste (I used Whole Foods Market 365 brand, Organic Tomato Paste)
Saute onion, red pepper, garlic and carrot over low heat in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and bouillon cubes. Stir to coat and then add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of TVP. While it is simmering add 1 can of pinto beans and tomato paste. As it reduces slightly, add remaining 2 cups of water and stir. Allow chili to simmer covered on very low heat for about 20 minutes. Voila!
Serving suggestions: top with a dollop of vegan sour cream, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.