Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Last time I went on a big grocery trip, I planned a menu and made a shopping list.  Chili was not on it.  At some point yesterday though I decided that we must have chili for dinner, and I would use the TVP to keep it vegetarian.  I thought to myself "surely I have beans and tomatoes on hand, and I can figure out chili seasoning..."

The recipe I found that most closely resembled what I thought I was looking for still needed some tweaking to fit personal preferences.  Mostly because I am too wimpy to handle any kind of heat.  And I dislike black pepper in just about EVERYTHING.  I think it tastes like dirt.  Yes, I know what dirt tastes like (thank you, Basic Training).

Here is what I came up with for the best chili seasoning:
(adapted from mybakingaddiction)

4 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sea salt

Mix together all ingredients.  Makes about 1/2 cup.
Mmmm, chili seasoning with no hidden ingredients.  Store in an air tight container.

Now for the Vegetarian (actually Vegan) Chili:
Start with Onions.  I used 6, but they were small.  They came from the Farmer's Market in Haleiwa. Don't be fooled by their tiny size.  Half way through I had to take a break for onion tears.  Chop them up and saute them in olive oil. 
TVP = Textured Vegetable Protein.  This ingredient is best not thought about.  When I think about it too much, I end up thinking of the scene in The Matrix where everyone is eating the slop that gives them all the nutrients they need.  So you can pretend to be sci-fi about it, or you can use ground meat. (Note: there will be no Vegan Super Powers gained by eating meat)  I used 1 cup of TVP and 2 cups of water.  Throw it in with the onions once they cooked as much as you like them.
Beans.  I used what I had on hand.  Which was 2 cans of black beans and 1 can of kidney beans.  Make sure you rinse those things.  Bean sludge is disgusting.  Add to the onion/TVP mixture.
 Throw in a can of diced tomatoes, including the juice in the can.  2 (8oz) cans of tomato sauce should be added too.  Unless you like dry chili.  Then add 2 tablespoons of the chili seasoning mixture.  Or more if you want.  This would also be a good time to add more heat if you can handle it.
Yum, finished chili.  The TVP looks like ground turkey.  Because of the chili seasoning it tastes like chili.  However, TVP all alone is gross.  Like tofu all alone.  You just shouldn't do it.