3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t posted in a while because I have been living – almost exclusively – on my Easy Crispy Oven Baked French Fries – seen above.  They are crispy & yummy & nearly guiltless.  Still – I had to bring some vegan food to a BBQ this weekend so I made a fuckton of vegan chili – THIS chili – 3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker.  It makes enough to fill a 7-quart Crockpot – which can feed a LOT of people (ten or more).  I brought some to the BBQ & used some for work lunches & froze some.  The ingredients are actually pretty random & very forgiving so – feel free to reduce the overall recipe or to tweak the ingredients.

I used Beyond Meat Feisty crumbles,

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Tofurky Chick’n & Apple sausages (which my meat-eating friend kept plucking out of the recipe & eating – shocked at how good it was),

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and whatever brand of soyrizo (meatless chorizo) they had at my supermarket.  Trader Joe’s usually carries soyrizo.  You can use whatever combo sounds good to you.

My bean to bean to bean ratio is simply the result of what I had around.  Dividing the quantities more evenly might be nice but once it is chili – a bean is a bean is a bean.  No?

My peppers were both red & green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers & chipotle peppers.  You can mix this up or change it to suit your tolerance for heat.

I also topped mine with this new brand of vegan cheese I found.  It melts into the chili nicely & tastes great.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a small community

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry white beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked)

1 (15 oz) can of black beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (9 oz) bags of Beyond Meat beefless crumbles

2 Tofurky (or other brand) sausages – flavor of your choice – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 soyrizo sausages – squeezed out of their casings

1 (4 oz) can of green chilies

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or other diced tomato)

1 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1-4 chipotle peppers (I used 4) in adobo – chopped

1 small onion – chopped

3 Roma (or other small) tomatoes – chopped

1-3 jalapeno peppers (I used 3) – seeded (or not – if you like heat) and diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup cilantro – chopped

1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

3 cups (or more) vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (chopped) or 2 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS cumin

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – scallions, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, cilantro, onions, hot sauce, sliced avocado, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

I seared the sausage just to give it grill marks.  Totally unnecessary.

Basically – put everything into the slow cooker & leave it on high for 4 or more hours.  If – it is looking too watery, take the lid off & cook on high until it gets to where you want it.  If it gets too thin – add some vegetable stock or water.  I like to let mine sit on low all day (after 4 hours of being on high), warm overnight & then high the next day to heat it for eating but this is totally not necessary.  Four hours on high & this shit should be good to go.  Season to taste & serve with the garnish of your choice!

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Vegan Beef & Broccoli Stuffed Peppers

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – so – I saw that vegan cheese above & decided to give it a shot.  I have yet to find a vegan cheese that tastes remotely like cheese and, I must confess, these individual slices do taste like a creamy cheese.  Best I have found – so far.  But – like every other vegan cheese I have experimented with – this shit DOES NOT melt.  I cooked four peppers – two with this cheese & two with real mozzarella.  I left them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I burned the mozzarella black but the fake cheese did not melt.  At all.

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See?  It is even burned at the edges but zero melting factor.  Tastes good but useless of you need a melted cheese.

Most stuffed peppers I have had are filled with some sort of meat & rice & they are often drowned in a red sauce.  I wanted these to be lighter so there is no carbohydrate in them & I served them clean – without a sauce – and they were very tasty.  I apologize – again – for less than stunning photos but the overcooking that resulted from my efforts to melt the unmeltable – but do not be thrown.  These are easy & yummy.

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Oh – and there is a little bell pepper tip for you!  And – I recommend Beyond Meat vegan products.  Best on the market!  Go to their site to find out where you can find it near you.

Vegan Beef & Broccoli Stuffed Peppers

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

4 bell peppers (male – if you can get them) – tops cut off & de-seeded

9 oz vegan beef crumbles

2 TBS olive oil

1/2 onion – diced

1 head broccoli – chopped fine

1 cup peas

1 cup corn

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced ( I left the seeds in for extra heat)

1/4 cup parsley – chopped

Cheese of your choice – vegan or otherwise (I use 1/2 vegan & half real mozzarella)

Garnish options – parsley, basil or micro arugula (I opted for micro arugula) or a warmed red sauce

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan & saute the onion, broccoli, corn, peas, beef, jalapenos & parsley until the veggies are tender.

Put your peppers in a casserole or pie pan & stuff them with the mixture.

If you are using vegan cheese – you can top them with it before they go in the oven.  If using read cheese – put that on in the last 15 minutes of cooking – lest it burn.

Cook for 30-45 minutes – or until the peppers are cooked to your taste.

Serve with the garnish of your choice.

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Spicy Vegan Chinese Green Pepper Beef

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Another easy gem made from Trader Joe’s Beef-less Strips.  Of course – real beef could be used.  Green pepper beef is my bad-ass boyfriend Miles’ favorite Chinese dish so I expect I will post an actual meat version of this some time down the line.

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Easy as can be & rather delicious.  Mine was a bit on the salty side so be sure to use the low sodium soy sauce.  I added dark soy sauce but if you cannot find this – omit it.  I used a vegetarian oyster sauce.  As with the dark soy – if you cannot find it – omit it.

I bought white rice from a local Thai joynt – hence the take-out container.

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Spicy Vegan Chinese Green Pepper Beef

Serves two pretty easily

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Trader Joe’s Beef-less Strips (or other vegan meat) – or real beef

1/2 onion – sliced thin

1 1/2 bell peppers – colors of your choice – sliced thin

olive oil

cornstarch

1 cup water

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS dark soy sauce (optional)

1 tsp black pepper

1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 TBS ginger – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)

Cooked rice of your choice

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the meat in a few TBS of cornstarch to coat it.

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Heat a TBS or 2 of olive oil in a saute pan over high heat.  Sear the meat & the crushed red pepper until it browns a bit on all sides.  Set it aside in a bowl.

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Add another TBS of olive oil to the pan & cook the onions & peppers over medium heat until soft.  Put them in the bowl with the meat.

Add another TBS of olive oil to the pan & add the garlic & ginger.  After one minute add the soy sauces, water, black pepper, brown sugar, rice vinegar & oyster sauce.  Bring to a boil & let it thicken just a bit.  Add the meat & peppers & stir to blend.  Cook it down until the sauce is as thick as you want it & serve over rice.  YUM!

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Cauliflower & Hominy “No Mac” & Cheese with Roasted Corn & Poblano Peppers

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Ok – I admit it.  I am obsessed with both cauliflower & now with hominy.  Both are substitutions for things like rice and pasta & potatoes.  I love those things, too, but the cauliflower version is guiltless & the hominy has so much flavor & great texture without even the calorie count of rice.  There is some debating on the nutritional value of hominy (hominy is another name for dried maize kernels, and this common corn-based food is often made into grits).  From the internet:

Low in Calories

One cup of hominy contains just 119 calories. This amount is lower than the amount some other grains provide; for example, 1 cup of white rice provides 242 calories. If you switched from eating 1 cup of white rice to one cup of hominy each day, you’d save 861 calories weekly, enough to lose about 1/4 lb. without otherwise altering your diet.

Low in Fat
Hominy is low in fat, which makes it a good choice on low-fat diets. While low-carbohydrate diets are popular, research suggests that limiting fat intake may be a more effective dieting strategy. Fat is high in calories, and according to a review of research from the May 2001 edition of “International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders,” fat is less filling and promotes a lower rate of calorie burning than other nutrients. Thus, lower fat foods such as hominy may be preferable to low-carbohydrate but fat-rich foods for weight loss.

High in Fiber

Another benefit of hominy is that it is high in fiber. Each cup of hominy provides 4 g of fiber, a nutrient that can help you lose weight because it stimulates satiety. Fiber is important for a number of other roles, as it also aids in the regulation of your blood sugar levels, encourages a healthy digestive system and may help reduce your cholesterol levels.

Low in Sugar

Hominy can also be beneficial due to its low sugar content. Each cup of hominy provides just 3 g of sugar. A low sugar content is beneficial because too much sugar can promote tooth decay, obesity, and according to research from the August 2004 edition of “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” too much sugar can also increase your risk of diabetes.

Yet others say that they are sodium heavy.  I don’t care.  I love hominy!  Hominy is like giant, soft corn nuts that taste like corn tortillas.  In fact – hominy is what they make masa from which is what you make tortillas from – so – that is their flavor.   If you are fearful, maybe buy a small can & add it to your favorite macaroni & cheese recipe.  I do not think you will be disappointed.

My first effort with this dish was for Cinco de Mayo.  I made a boat load of this shit & had to throw away a large portion because it wouldn’t fit into my slow cooker.  My large slow cooker.

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It is the white one on the far right of frame.  I didn’t cook the cauliflower before putting it in the cooker & I had never made anything like this before & I was completely winging it & making it up as I went and I was very nervous about the result.  The result was that this dish was one of the most popular I have ever served.  I will post the recipe at the end of this blog but know – this is a recipe that could probably feed 20-30 people.  If you make it – even for your large slow cooker – cut it in half or be ready to bake the remaining stuff in casserole dishes.  No need for a 6+ pound can of hominy unless you really want to cater a party with this stuff.

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Also – because I had never tried a dish like this before – I choked and added actual macaroni to the slow cooker.  The smaller recipe I am posting today has no pasta in it.  Also – the ratio of poblano to the overall dish is greater in the smaller recipe so it has a green cast to it.  The huge recipe is yellow.  I didn’t think I was going to post the huge recipe so I didn’t properly document the process or the results.  Mac & cheese & other casseroles are kinda hard to make look pretty sometimes and that held true with both versions of this dish.  Here is a look at the huge recipe that included pasta:

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The smaller recipe has a ton of roasted poblano (pasilla) peppers in it and no pasta and looks like this:

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I went very heavy on the cheese in the large recipe (as you can see) but tried to keep the smaller one moderately healthy.  In fact – by my calculations – the smaller no-mac recipe has under 2800 calories in the ENTIRE recipe making each of the eight servings about 350 calories. That ain’t bad for something that seems so rich & decadent & is so amazingly delicious.  I actually liked the no-mac version better.  I hope you try one of them some day!

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PRINT THIS RECIPE

Cauliflower & Hominy “No Mac” & Cheese with Roasted Corn & Poblano Peppers

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower

1 29oz can hominy (yellow or white – no matter)

4 ears fresh corn (or canned or frozen)

5 poblano peppers (or less if heat bugs you) – OR – a few small cans of green chilies

1 10oz can Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 cup milk

3 cups of grated cheese

4 oz fresh mozzarella (optional)

1/2 cup panko (or other) breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

1 TBS pepper

Parsley – chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Grill the corn in their husks & the poblanos over your burners until they are black on all sides.  Put the poblanos in a sealed plastic container & let them sweat while you peel the corn & cut the kernels from the cobs.  Then, under running water, peel off the black skins from the poblanos & seed them.  Puree the poblanos in a food processor.

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Boil the cauliflower (leaves & core trimmed) for about 10 minutes.  I like to cut the cauliflower into florets while it cooks or after I drain it because raw cauliflower crumbles & pops all over the place when you cut it.  Drain the cooked cauliflower.

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Drain the hominy.  In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower, the hominy, the pureed poblanos, the corn, the Cheddar soup, the milk and TWO CUPS of the cheese – reserving the last cup to top the casserole.  Add the salt & pepper & mix it all until blended.

Pour this mix into a greased casserole pan & top with remaining cup of cheese, fresh mozzarella & panko breadcrumbs.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden & it is bubbling up the sides.

Serve with diced parsley.  Fall in love!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

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And now for the ingredients of the HUGE recipe.  After grilling the corn & poblanos as explained above – all I did was put everything (or as much as would fit – throwing quite a bit away) into my slow cooker & left it on high for about 4 hours – stirring frequently.  Voila!

INGREDIENTS

1 6lb can of hominy

1 large head of cauliflower – cut into florets (steam them if you want this dish to cook faster than 4 hours)

1 lb dry macaroni – cooked & drained

4 poblanos – roasted, peeled & seeded & pureed

4 large red chilies (optional) – roasted, peeled & seeded & pureed

4 ears corn – grilled in husks & cut off the cob (or use some canned or frozen)

1 pint heavy cream

8 TBS butter

7 cups grated cheese

2 10oz cans Cheddar Cheese soup

2 cups milk

S&P to taste

OPTIONAL – a 4 or 7 oz can each of either hot green chilies or mild green chilies – or both

Let me know if you try this & your results.