Loaded Vegan Chili
It's officially springtime, but apparently you never know when you might need something warm and hearty to get you through a surprise snowstorm. For that, we have this – our favorite chili recipe yet. Let's hope we don't actually have to make it again until November of next year.
A classic chili gets its mojo from a thick texture and savory bouquet of spices, both of which, when done well, can actually be easily replicated in a vegan version. Bulgar wheat is our best friend here, mimicking a traditional ground beef texture, helped along by some supple chili standards: bell pepper, celery, carrots, beans and more beans.
But what gets a bit tricky is imitating the "cherry on top" -- the creamy, cool delicious dollop of sour cream that mixes in slowly, in all it's dairy-ness. Dare we claim to have a solution for that?? This recipe includes a creamy cashew sauce so simple and perfect we couldn't believe it ourselves, but when stirred into the thick chili base, had us fooled for Daisy.
No matter what, your grandma's/uncle's/mom's favorite chili will forever reign supreme, but this could easily become your next legacy recipe to be remembered for. Make it for your grandma, your uncle, your mom, or just for yourself - in a big pot that will last you the entire week.
For the Creamy Cashew Sauce
- 1 1/4 cups raw cashews
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or sub water)
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
For the Chili
- 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 15 oz.can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 small carrot, broken into thirds
- 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan if possible)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
- 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 28 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 6 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2-3 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- green onions, diced, to top
Make your creamy cashew sauce:
1. Put cashews in a bowl. Cover with hot water and soak for 30-45 minutes. Drain.
2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender on high for one minute. Add water as desired for consistency, then blend for 2-3 minutes until silky smooth. Add salt to taste.
Make the chili:
1. Put 15 ounce can of tomatoes, carrot, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce in blender and blend until fully combined into a paste.
2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, green pepper, and celery, sautéing for five minutes until tender.
3. Next, add in your blended vegetables, plus two 28 ounce cans tomatoes, beans, bulgur wheat, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, until the chili thickens and the bulgur is tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve with creamy cashew sauce and green onions.