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River City Red Chili

This is a twist on my mother’s chili recipe. Where hers uses ground beef, I use tofu, instead. The recipe is vegan, and while it’s good with shredded cheddar cheese as a garnish, there’s certainly no need to include cheese.

You’ll notice that pasta is also an optional ingredient. When my siblings and I were little, the pasta was a meal-extender, to make the chili – and grocery dollars – go as far as possible. Whether or not you’re trying to stretch your budget, try this chili with pasta, sometime, because it’s delicious!

Source: Harriett Dickey-Chasins (Entered by Closed Account)
Serves: 4-6, depending on how hungry folks are!
Vegan!

Ingredients
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic
2 medium onions
1 tsp. cumin seeds
56 oz. canned whole tomatoes
4 oz. canned green chiles (mild), chopped
1 lb. tofu
3 Tbsp. Mexican chili powder (hot)
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
2 cups red kidney beans
cheddar cheese, grated
smoked paprika, to taste

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Optional: Pasta Note: All seasonings should be adjusted to your taste!
  2. Quarter onions and cut in ½-inch slices; mince the garlic. Heat oil in large saucepan. Sauté garlic and onion in oil until quite soft. Add cumin seeds, stir, and cook for one minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juice, tearing the tomatoes into smallish pieces. Add canned beans and their juice or cooked dry beans and ¾ cup of their cooking liquid. Add chopped green chilis.
  4. Cut tofu into ½-inch cubes and add to chili. Add chili powder, smoked paprika, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Grate cheddar cheese and put a small handful in the bottom of each diner’s bowl. Ladle chili into bowls, stir once to mix chili with cheese, and serve.
  6. Optional pasta: Pasta is an excellent “chili extender!” Cook macaroni, orzo, or other small pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and add to finished chili.

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