Many years ago I discovered what I lovingly refer to as “fake hamburger”. In truth it is Yves Veggie Cuisine ground round, a soy and vegetable product with the consistency of cooked ground beef. ” All of Yves ground products are meat free, low in fat, cholesterol free, a good source of protein and iron and always trans fat-free! You can substitute ground in your favorite recipes where ground beef would be needed!” (I took that from their website, can you tell?) I like to use this product when I make chili. Unlike real ground meat, it doesn’t need to be browned and drained. It is precooked so it is added near the end of cooking time just to heat through. The texture is so similar to ground beef that a vegetarian friend of mine won’t even eat it! I have served this chili to many people who were totally surprised when told after dinner that they had eaten a meatless meal. (My mother might have then been hungry, as she says she needs meat to be full.)
I don’t use a recipe when I make chili, but I’ve tried to write something down for reference.
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
3 – 4 tbsp. chili powder (to taste)
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. sugar
4 carrots, diced
1 bottle of pureed tomatoes
1 pile of mushrooms, quartered
1 or 2 tins of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 packages of Yves ground round
Saute the onion to soften, add garlic, celery and peppers and seasonings and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Add carrots, pureed tomatoes and about a cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes and add mushrooms, beans and veggie round. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer long enough to heat through.
The tomato bottle is a favorite – Scarpone’s Strained Tomatoes – with Italian tomatoes. The ground round package shown is the large Costco packaging, which contains 4 packages of “ground round”.
This recipe is totally flexible. You could include other types of peppers, other vegetables (raw or cooked) such as cauliflower or zucchini and different varieties of beans. Spices could be altered. Since I don’t measure mine I’m guessing with the amounts I’ve listed. To add more tomato flavor, I usually also include a tin of tomato paste and a tin of tomato sauce. See where I’m going with this? It is never the same twice.
Chili is excellent served topped with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and diced avocado. This is easy to make in large quantities for a crowd, and it freezes well. Hope you like it. It is especially good with corn bread fresh from the oven – but that’s my next post.