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Cheater's Chili

Cheater's Chili

The idea behind this chili was born a few months ago when we were having a party and I needed to create a BIG container of food that would cook up quickly and easily. The name of this recipe came about because I always feel a little guilty about using prepared items, but, honestly, sometimes we all need life to be easier and semi-homemade is better than nothing, right? To me, this is the best of both worlds, full of customization options but so very simple to make. The chili it creates is complex, thick and hearty. Even though this is a long list of ingredients, it is very easy and inexpensive to make. All the veggies and spices here are just suggestions; feel free to add what appeals most to you or what you have on hand. I used Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili and Tofurky’s chorizo. 


Cheater's Chili

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 – 3 carrots, sliced
1 – 2 hot peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ tablespoon low-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
28 – 30 oz. vegan chili
1 12-ounce package vegan chorizo, cooked (or homemade)
15 ounces black beans or beans of preference, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
2 cups baby spinach
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Optional fixin’s: diced avocado, vegan sour cream, tortillas, minced scallions, prepared rice

Warm a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots, sautéing together for six minutes or until softened. Lower to medium heat, and add the peppers, garlic, celery, tamari, basil, chili powder, oregano, cumin and fennel. Stir together for five minutes. Add the broth, chili, prepared chorizo, black beans and corn. Cook over medium heat for ten minutes. Add the spinach, optional liquid smoke, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the lime juice and serve.

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