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Growing up in India, vegan and vegetarian food has been a major part of my family’s diet. My mother is vegetarian and always cooked seasonally so I have fond memories of going to the local market and shopping for vegetables with her before they were transformed into a feast! Here in NYC, I visit the Union Square farmers market at least once a week to source ingredients for the FeedfeedBrooklyn test kitchen and it's one of my absolute favorite activities!
I know a lot of people don’t like the winter... but I love it! That’s mainly because it means that I get to cozy up with all kinds of bowled beauties. Let me present this uber-comforting chili, full of hearty vegetables and protein dense ingredients, but without an ounce of meat!
Let's dive in, shall we? Instead of the classic ground beef, I used mushrooms maximum umami power. My secret for that hearty and meaty bite? Extra firm tofu! It crumbles down to lend a meaty texture to the stew. Then aromatics like garlic, ginger, and red onion lend their sweet pungent notes as supporting players with a little liquid smoke for that long-cooked campfire flavor.
Finally, quinoa soaks up all the juices to create the perfect body for the finished chili. I serve it with a dollop of coconut yogurt, cilantro (my favorite herb), lime wedges and avocado. But really you can top it with whatever garnishes you desire. So grab a bowl and get your chili on, you won’t be missing even one ounce of protein—or flavor!
Prep time 60 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 6-7
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add mushrooms and saute until brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeno and ginger, then cook, covered, until softened, about 6 minutes.
Add tofu, using a wooden spoon to break up into small pieces, and saute until lightly golden, 6-8 minutes. Stir in cumin, paprika, cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions, cook covered for 3 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, liquid smoke, carrots, red and green peppers. Season with salt, then bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in quinoa and beans, then cook covered for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Add kale and simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and adjust seasoning with salt.
Divide between bowls and garnish with cilantro, jalapeños and whipped coconut cream, then serve with lime wedges.