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"Never Know the Difference" Chili
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

Many people nowadays are concerned with the fat associated with meat. While
vegetarian diets are frequently ridiculed, they are more often misunderstood.
Many of the general populace don't believe that a hearty entrée can be enjoyed
without that certain taste of protein.

But I am here to tell you that another kind of protein is satisfying if cooked right.
TVP (textured vegetable protein) is just such a protein. Coming in a wide array
of flavors, such as beef and chicken, it is very difficult to distinguish the real
meat from this tasty substitution, especially in a recipe such as chili.

This is a perfect example of a great beef flavor without the guilt.

8 ounces beef-flavored textured vegetable protein, or firm tofu
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 small bell pepper, cored and minced
1 medium carrot, peeled (if desired) and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon (or more) cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato puree or sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, undrained
2 cups kidney beans*

Crumble vegetable protein in a bowl until pieces are about the size of a dime. In
a large saucepan, cook the textured protein, onions, peppers and carrots in olive
oil, over medium heat covered, until the carrots are crisp tender, about 6-7
minutes.

Remove lid and add chili powder, cumin and red pepper, continue cooking an
additional 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato paste.
Continue cooking, uncovered now, and stir to blend well, until heated through.
Add the kidney beans and, again, bring up to temperature. Then reduce heat to
low and simmer 30 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and enjoy!

*The cloudy liquid you find canned beans is mostly starch and salt that may change the
texture or taste of a dish. Most of our recipes call for draining and rinsing the beans to
remove the excess salt and starch and improve flavor. Draining the juice also helps to lessen
the effect the beans have on causing gas. It REALLY does cut down on how much gas the
beans cause in your system.


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About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third
generation chef, a New England food historian and food columnist. His
new cookbook is called
The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every
Kitchen. He would love to hear from anyone about their old family
recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:

theyankeechef@aol.com
.
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont