Chili sin carne

What’s not to love about chili? It’s great comfort food that satisfies immediately and you can improvise on the recipe in all sorts of ways. I’ve made meatless chili without any kind of meat replacement (let’s not forget red beans are pretty protein-loaded by themselves) and that’s great. Recently, I found they had seitan at the local supermarket and decided to give it a try. I’ve never really been “into” meat replacements, I seem to manage just fine without burgers or quorn most of the time. I am, however, very thankful for their existence, especially when it comes to dinners with extended family or bring-your-own-meat sumemr BBQs.

So when I was preparing meatless chili the other day, I figured I’d give the seitan a try. You could substitute with quorn ‘minced meat’ or any kind of substitute you like, or just leave it out. The seitan wasn’t bad, but I can’t say I loved it. The same kind of rubbery texture that is sometimes the problem with tofu. I might have to bake it a little harder in a separate skillet first. If there are any good suggestions on how to handle the seitan, I’d love to hear them!

I’m sorry there are no photos – but I think you all know what chili looks like, and there are not many elegant ways to present it.

Ingredients for 4 servings

2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500 grams of seitan or ground quorn, in small cubes or ground in a kitchen robot
2 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
something spicy used according to taste: a chopped red chili pepper, or tabasco, or harissa…
500 ml of tomato passata + a little bit of vegetable stock
a can of red beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Serve with: a wild rice mixture or regular white rice.

How to:

Heat some olive oil in a heavy-bottom casserole (I prefer my cast-iron one). Stir-fry the chopped onion, peppers and garlic until they start to soften. Then add the seitan and stir for another few minutes. Add the tomato concentrate and spices, mix well and wait another few minutes. Now add the passata, I use some water + stock to clean the bottle and add it to the chili. Let it come to a boil and simmer for a bit, until the peppers are soft. Add pepper, salt and other spices to taste. In the end, add the beans and just let them heat with the chili for a bit. You’re done! Serve with rice or bread and tabasco for lovers of spiciness.

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