As someone born and raised in Texas it’s sort of in my blood to know a thing or two about chili. Most Texans would consider it blasphemy to put beans in chili, but then again most Texans would consider it blasphemy to be a vegetarian. Neither of those things make much of a difference to me though – I’m not most Texans. :)
Chili is a wonderful one-pot meal that comes together quickly with little effort. It’s low in calories, it’s filling, and it keeps you warm on chilly nights. (Yup – we have chilly nights here!) I actually made this chili less spicy than I normally would. As a general rule I like my dishes to be warm, but nothing so hot as to mask out the other flavors in a dish. In Thai restaurants I’m a “3″ kind of girl. With chili though? I want to subtly regret every searing spoonful as it makes my taste buds cry for mercy. If my eyes aren’t watering and my nose isn’t running by the time I’m halfway through the bowl, then it’s just not hot enough. The perfect counter to that level of spicy bliss is the addition of fresh diced celery. Celery is my absolute favorite, must-have topping for chili because of the way it cuts through the heat. The contrast of texture and flavor is wonderful as well. If you’ve never tried it I highly recommend it.
Everyone has their own tolerance levels when it comes to heat so I view this recipe as more of a jumping off point. If you’re a glutton for punishment you can add several additional jalapeños , more pepper sauce, ground cayenne, a habanero – whatever floats your boat. The beauty of chili is that it’s adaptable. And that it’s easy.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/2 of a 12oz package of ground meatless crumbles
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon pepper sauce
- 1 corn tortilla, torn into small pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat olive oil in a pot and cook the onion, garlic, and pepper until slightly soft and fragrant – about 5 minutes or so.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except for the cilantro and corn tortilla) to the pot and bring to a simmer. When simmering, add the corn tortilla pieces. Cover, remove heat, and let cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Just before serving stir in the chopped cilantro.