I don’t know about you, but I could enjoy vegetarian chili all year round. Although chili provides a warm nurturing meal in the Winter months, it is just as satisfying in the Springtime. I find that the vegetables are more fresh during the in-season months of Spring/Summer and therefore my chili has a more rich taste. The best part of this dish, is it’s an easy meal prep creation!
This Meal Only Costs $1.92 per Serving!
Here at “A Healthy Profit”, money matters. I am always looking to get the most bang for my buck. With a whopping 27 grams of protein per serving and very little fat, this meal is highly nourishing for both my wallet and stomach.
As I write this recipe, I am beginning week 2 of my 4-week plant based challenge. It’s great to see the truth behind plant based protein. Legumes have become my best friend! I’m really enjoying finding substitutions for dairy and I don’t miss meat at all. I did however, stumble upon meatless gound beef at Trader Joe’s and decided to try that in this recipe. If you don’t have meatless meat, feel free to omit that from my recipe or use grass fed ground beef if that’s what you’d prefer.
Let’s Talk About Meatless Meat
Although it sounds enticing, you do have to be cautious and read the ingredients when you buy vegan meat. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing natural about meatless meat. It may not be perfect, but it certainly seems like a better option than cow meat.
Here are the ingrediants:
- Textured soy protein: this is how the product has so much protein. Although it’s not the most natural way to obtain protein, it works. In my humble opinion, I would say this is somewhat necessary in a vegan diet.
- Natural flavors (includes yeast extract): I have a problem with this ingredient. Unfortunately, yeast extract is a processed form of yeast. We know that MSG is an additive to make food taste better. Well, yeast extract actually has a very small amount of glutamates, aka MSG. As long as you do not have stomach sensitivities, you should be fine and unaffected by this small amount of MSG but please be mindful of this. Although I personally am OK eating it once in a while, I would not be eating meatless meat weekly as the ingredients are not wholesome.
- Expeller pressed canola oil: Great! Expeller pressed means the oil was squeezed out of the seed using this machine called an expeller press. No manufacturing or processing went into creating this oil.
- Salt: be mindful of your daily sodium intake. Refer to my blog about hydration for more information.
- Guar gum: Although this sounds like a bad ingredient, it’s not. This is a binder and thickening agent. It’s actually made from legumes and therefore has a lot of fiber and can aide in digestion.
- Evaporated cane syrup: I’d rather not see this in a list of ingredients, it’s basically sugar.
- Barley malt extract: This was likely added for flavoring and coloring of the product. If you are gluten-free I would be cautious as barley is a grain derivative.
- Caramel color: I’m glad this ingredient is at the end of the list because there is probably a very minimal amount used but holy moly this is a terrible ingredient. I’m not entirely sure why they would have used it in this product but there have been studies linking caramel coloring to cancer.
- Vitamins and minerals
Overall, for a vegan meat, I think this is a decent choice but some of the ingredients make me wary. I did eat this and I enjoyed the taste and texture of it. I thought it was a perfect addition to my vegetarian chili. That being said, I will not be eating this often and I’d rate the quality of ingredients a 6/10.
Perfect Meal Prep Option
You guys know I’m a huge proponent for meal prepping. Read my meal prepping guide here.
Although Sundays can be a bit of a doozy, it saves me hours of frustration and time during the week. I eat healthier, and I am more regimented which helps a lot in my hectic life. This is a meal which I would highly recommend meal prepping. It’s a one pot meal too so it doesn’t even make much of a mess to cook! This recipe makes between 4-6 servings of chili. It can be kept in the fridge for 4 days or the freezer for long term storage.
I usually prepare the chili and rice separately and will combine when I’m ready to eat. There are a ton of topping options available to make this recipe more dazzling!
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup of shredded carrots
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 package of meatless ground meat, equivalent to 1 lb.
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 1/2 TBSP chili powder
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried bay leaves or 1 bay leaf
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1, 14 oz. can of black beans, drained
- 1, 14 oz. can of pinto beans, drained
- 1, 14 oz. can of red kidney beans, drained
- 1 tsp sherry cooking wine
- 1 tsp lime juice
- optional: basmati rice, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, over medium heat, warm the oil and garlic until shimmering
- Add the chopped peppers, onion, carrots, and celery
- Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until veggies are tender
- Add the meatless meat and break up into smaller pieces
- Add spices: cayenne, crushed red pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, and bay leaves
- To that same pot, add the vegetable broth
- Allow the beef to warm, simmer, and absorb the spices for about 10 minutes on a low temperature
- Include the diced tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, and all the beans to the chili
- Stir to combine and allow simmering to occur on low for 20-25 minutes
- Transfer 1-2 cups of the simmered chili into a separate bowl and let that cool prior to adding to a blender to emulsify and thicken (this blending process ensures the best texture and consistency)
- Pour the blended mixture back into the large pot and stir
- Add lime juice and sherry wine and allow for another 10 minutes of simmering
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve over a bed of rice topped with avocado or cilantro for garnishing
Let me know in the comments below if you made this vegetarian chili. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.