Thursday, November 17, 2011

Best-Ever Vegan Chili and Best-Ever Rainbow

Best-Ever Chili

One of my latest "unpacks" from our recent move to the Olympic Peninsula is our moveable dry goods pantry - - beans begging to be cooked, since temperatures have dropped into the low 40's and 30's. I made yesterday an At-Home day, primarily so I could cook a large batch of homemade vegan chili based on "Big Paul's Chili" award-winning recipe with the follow additions, as follows :

I cooked up my own red beans, added V-8 juice for additional liquid, my own dried tomatoes (chopped), as well as crumbling three vegan Sunshine falafel patties (gluten /soy free) into the chili during the last stage of simmering all the ingredients.

It's savory sweetness and chunky texture make for an especially tasty, hearty, nutritious meal to stave off the fall and winter chill!


3 Bell Peppers (green, red, yellow or orange combo), chopped

2 medium Onions, finely chopped

2 Carrots, chopped

3 Celery ribs, chopped

6 Garlic cloves, minced

2 T Lemon juice

1 small can Jalapeño peppers (mild), chopped

1 (15 oz) can organic Tomato Sauce

1 (28 oz) can organic crushed Tomatoes

1 cup dried Tomatoes, chopped

V-8 Juice for additional liquid

1 (15 oz) can of pitted Black Olives, chopped

6-8 cups Red Beans, cooked or canned (15 oz)

2-4 cups Black Beans, cooked or canned (15 oz)

2-4 vegan meatless patties or soy crumbles (optional)

¼ cup Maple Syrup (or Brown Sugar)

1 T Molasses

2 (heaping) T Chili Powder

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

Olive Oil for sautéing vegetables


  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat sauté in olive oil the onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers and garlic until soft.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, dried tomatoes, lemon juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, molasses or brown sugar. Stir to mix well and heat up.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, and then add in the red and black beans, black olives and optional meatless crumbles.
  4. Simmer for 30-minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste.
  5. Garnish options: green onions, sour cream, crumbled saltine crackers
  6. Serve with Spoon Bread (see my recipe)

Serves 8-10

Best-Ever Rainbow

After the chili was made and simmering, I made a quick trip over to the Wooden Boat School to deliver a new assortment of teas for the students to enjoy. It was a cold and rainy day. As I came down the hill, I saw the most beautiful, spectacular, breath-taking rainbow I've ever seen, which spanned the entire bay, seeming to rise out of the water at Port Hadlock and arch across the sky to Port Townsend. Here are the images I quickly captured before it faded away: