Tag Archives: vegetarian chili

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin White Bean Chili

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Have you had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers? Are you over it, ready to move on from turkey to other foods for the next few weeks? We don’t cook turkey around here, but I am certainly okay with not eating mashed potatoes, Tofurky, other veggie roasts, stuffing, etc., etc., for a while.

If you’re in need of something filling, a dish that is both comfort food and this lovely fall season wrapped up in a bowl, the following white bean and pumpkin chili just might satisfy such a craving. Having never eaten, nor made a white bean chili, I decided to do what I frequently do in the kitchen — and wing it.

This chili was gone in a day and a half, which is saying a lot because typically if I make chili, it sits in the fridge for a week… and then half of it gets thrown in the freezer where it’s forgotten for a year or so. It’s hearty and robust, not overly spicy, but wonderfully flavorful!

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Pumpkin White Bean Chili

Yields about 5 quarts

1 small cooking pumpkin (about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
4 Quorn Chik’n Cutlets (unbreaded)
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 large onion, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
2 small yellow bell peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
3 small anaheim peppers, stem/seeds/ribs removed, than diced
2 dried bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups cannellini beans
2 cups diced tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted ones)
6 cups No-Chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream

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Prepare the pumpkin: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the stem from your pumpkin, then slice the pumpkin in half. Scrape out the seeds and fibers, then place the pumpkin halves [cut side down] on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, or until tender. Cool, then cut each half into 1-inch thick strips. Slice off the rind from each strip, then dice the cooked pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the Quorn Chik’n: Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the oil and the minced garlic. Place all four cutlets in the pan. Drizzle with the remaining oil and a semi-generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until lightly golden brown, then flip and cook on the remaining side. Continue cooking until tender, golden brown, and heated all the way through. Remove the cutlet from the heat and dice into chunks. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the chili: In a large pot (I like my dutch oven for this), heat four tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and peppers, cooking until tender. Add in the bay leaves, garlic, cumin, two teaspoons salt, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and ground turmeric. Stir until well combined. Next, add in the beans, tomatoes, No-Chicken broth, cubed pumpkin and diced Quorn Chik’n. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, up to a few hours. You can add more broth if you prefer your chili a little less thick. Stir in the sour cream right before serving. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.

The chili can be served with more sour cream to top off each bowl, minced cilantro, grated cheddar, cornbread, etc.

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Crock Pot Chili


Winter around here in the Pacific Northwest – it lingers. In this particular valley, we have some trickery that happens every February, where a stretch of 3 to 4 days will bring warmth, sunshine, and the hint of spring. Folks flock to the parks, they lay around in tank tops and shorts and forget it’s nowhere close to March, April… And then BOOM! The cold is back and hangs out until June. I don’t often mind, really. I love the cold just as much as I enjoy warmer weather.

Cold temperatures beckon warm foods like hearty stews and soups. As a mostly vegetarian cook, these types of dishes offer quite an array of possibilities. A good spicy chili always goes over well around our house. Making it in the crock pot makes it a breeze and much of the work happens without you having to do a single thing. The result is a filling, fragrant, and delicious chili that can feed an army of folks (or family made up mainly of hungry boys).

This vegetarian chili includes a few things I find enjoyable: Gimme Lean is a vegan meat substitute that is wonderfully spiced – by far my favorite veggie meat substitute. I’ve also included dried beans rather than canned pre-cooked beans, as this allows for more flavor absorption. The unsweetened cocoa adds just the slightest bit of sweetness to balance out the spiciness, plus the way it deepens the final color of this chili is gorgeous (which is important after all, as the age old saying goes, “you eat first with your eyes…”).


Vegetarian Crock Pot Chili

Feeds 10-15 people, easily.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1- 14 ounce tube Gimme Lean vegan sausage
2 large carrots, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1- 10 ounce bag frozen corn
1 pound dried red beans
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
4 cups diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups No-Chicken broth (vegetable broth is okay, too)
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 dried bay leaves

* optional: 1 teaspoon applewood liquid smoke


In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until the onion softens and is nearly translucent. Crumble in the Gimme Lean, stirring to evenly distribute with the sautéed onions. Cook until the sausage is lightly golden brown.

Once the sausage has browned, dump it, along with the onion/bell pepper/garlic into your crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients to your crock pot as well, stirring to mix everything well. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours, until the beans are completely tender. (I actually cooked ours for 15 hours, but this isn’t necessary – just how timing worked out!)

After 8 hours, check the level of liquid in the crock pot. You can add more broth (or water) as necessary. Add more salt and pepper to your liking once the chili has finished cooking.

Serve hot, with your favorite toppings. We like sour cream, grated cheese, a hefty dose of hot sauce, and freshly sliced avocado, with a side of steamed rice and/or cornbread.




Vegetarian Lentil Chili

‘Tis the season for the comfort of one pot meals. If I owned a crock pot, I imagine it would get a lot of use right about now. Honestly I don’t know where the transition was that happened between summer and full-blown fall time. The windshield glass of our car was frosted over the other morning. Today my husband turned the heat on in our house. Winter’s coming… truthfully, I don’t mind.

Stews, chilies, casseroles – it’s what I think of once the weather gets cooler. The beauty of a lentil-based chili is that it requires no previous soaking, unlike dried beans. You can throw it together with much less planning (which, sometimes, is entirely necessary). The following recipe is a very straightforward, easy, vegetarian chili. While the ingredient list may seem long, there’s nothing complicated about it.


Vegetarian Lentil Chili

2 tbsp. oil
1 large white onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. red chili pepper flakes
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. chili powder
2½ tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups red lentils
2- 14.5 oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid (or fresh if you prefer!)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
5 cups broth
salt and pepper


In a large stock pot, sauté the diced onion, minced garlic, and chili pepper flakes in the oil, until the onion is translucent (5-7 minutes). Add the green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and cocoa powder. Cook over medium-high heat until the bell pepper softens (5-6 minutes).

Add the lentils, tomatoes, fresh oregano, liquid smoke, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, bay leaf, and broth. Stir to combine everything well. Add salt and pepper to your liking (keeping in mind you can always add more once the chili has cooked for a while – the broth will add some saltiness and the flavors will come together more distinctly as the chili cooks). Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Check the broth level of the chili occasionally while it cooks, adding more broth as needed (or water). Uncover the pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper to your liking.

Serve hot with toppings such as sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, minced parsley or cilantro.