This is a delicious and easy chili for the slow cooker. It’s not quite a throw-it-all-in-and-turn-on-the-slow-cooker recipe, but close. The onion & garlic is sauteed first to give the chili extra flavour, and the cumin seeds are toasted. These extra steps don’t take much time, but the end result make them well worth the effort.
For the uninitiated, TVP (textured vegetable protein) is a meat substitute made from defatted soy flour (I realise that does not sound especially appetising, but have faith). It comes in dry form, as either chunks or granules (this chili uses granules). TVP doesn’t have a lot of flavour on its own, but absorbs the flavours of other ingredients. The texture is very similar to mince (ground meat), except much cheaper and healthier. I buy mine from Holland & Barrett, where it’s called “soya protein mince”. You’ll probably want to ensure that the TVP you buy is made from non-genetically modified soybeans. The last time I bought TVP (about a year ago) from H&B, they assured me it was made with non-GM soy, but this may have changed; it’s worth checking before you buy.
Toasting the cumin seeds really brings out the flavour, so don’t skip this step.
Raw red peppers can be substituted for the roasted ones (if you must), in which case saute them with the onion in step one.
If you’re cooking beans from scratch, start with 110g (generous 1/2 cup) of dry beans. You can let Stanley cook them the day before (or overnight), if you like.
There are a couple of tablespoons of Puy (continental) lentils in the chili as well, because… well… lentils *rock* in chili.
Chili is great served with toppings such as spring onions, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, fresh tomatoes, fresh coriander (cilantro), diced avocado, pickled jalapenos, and so on.
Serve with rice, garlic bread or tortilla chips, and a side salad.
Slow cooker TVP chili
|1 tablespoon||olive oil (or oil from sundried tomatoes or
|90g||onion, diced||3/4 cup|
|3 cloves||garlic, finely chopped||3 cloves|
|1 teaspoon||cumin seeds, toasted & lightly crushed*||1 teaspoon|
|1 teaspoon||mild paprika||1 teaspoon|
|1 teaspoon||sugar||1 teaspoon|
|3/4 teaspoon||oregano||3/4 teaspoon|
|3/4 teaspoon||salt, or to taste||3/4 teaspoon|
|1/2 teaspoon||coarsely ground peppercorns||1/2 teaspoon|
|1/8 teaspoon||cayenne, or to taste||1/8 teaspoon|
|400g tin||chopped tomatoes||14 oz can|
|400g tin||kidney beans, drained & rinsed||14 oz can|
|(or 1-1/2 cups of cooked kidney beans)|
|90g||roasted red pepper, diced||3/4 cup|
|45g||dry TVP granules||1/2 cup|
|2 tablespoons||Puy lentils (or other lentils)||2 tablespoons|
|Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, spring onions,
shredded vegan cheese, fresh coriander (cilantro),
chopped fresh tomato, etc.
1. Saute onion in oil for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute.
2. Add toasted & crushed cumin seeds, paprika, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne and mix well. Turn off heat.
3. In slow cooker, combine tomatoes, drained & rinsed kidney beans, roasted red pepper, TVP, lentils, water and sauteed onion mixture.
4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Makes four servings.
* Toast cumin seeds in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant. Remove to mortar and crush lightly with pestle.