Vegetarian Chili

Jaime’s a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian too…but I love a tasty burger.  When that’s not an option, my vegetarian chili is pretty meaty for a non-meat dish.  I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of ingredients for years and, while no two are exactly alike, this recipe is pretty close the ideal formula.


2 oz dried Pasilla chilies 2 medium sweet, yellow onions ½ cup olive oil 12 cloves garlic 4 large portobello mushrooms ½ cup fresh oregano 1-teaspoon salt 1-teaspoon pepper 1-teaspoon dried sage 1-teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon thyme 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons grainy mustard 4 cups no-chicken broth 1 lb. carrots 1 lb. baby red potatoes 1 ½ cups bulgur wheat 2 teaspoons Spike gourmet natural seasoning 4- 15oz cans chili beans. (Kidney, pinto and black) 2- 28oz cans chunky tomato sauce 2- 28oz cans diced fire roasted tomatoes 1 green jalapeno 1 red jalapeno 1 cup fresh cilantro 2 green bell peppers ¼ cup BBQ sauce 1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 additional teaspoons cumin 1 additional teaspoon pepper 1 additional teaspoon salt 1 additional teaspoon Spike 1 lime Avocado Grated cheese Sour cream Sourdough bread


To rehydrate chilies: Remove stem of the pasilla chilies, slice the chili down the side, and remove seeds and veins. Flatten chili. Cover chili with hot water and soak until fleshy. Discard water and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add finely diced onions and roughly chopped mushrooms. Sauté until onions become translucent.

Add diced garlic and remove from heat.

Add roughly chopped oregano, salt, pepper, dried sage, cumin, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and mustard to the onion mix and stir well.  Set aside.

In a 10-quart pot, add broth, finely diced carrots and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil.

Add bulgur wheat, beans, spike, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and reduce heat to low.

Stir well, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.

To the pot, now add:

finely diced pasilla chilies, diced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, onion/mushroom mix,           BBQ sauce, diced green peppers, cumin, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder,  Spike, dried oregano, and the juice of one lime.

Simmer over low heat for about an hour, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and let cool.  Top with sliced avocado, grated cheese, sour cream and serve with a side of sourdough bread…or whatever sounds good to you!


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