Two weeks into our vegan challenge, we were craving something hearty, meaty and just a little rich. This chili fit the bill perfectly--without all the added calories that come with its non-vegan counterpart. The inspiration from this recipe came from (surprise, surprise) my go-to vegan recipe blog, Oh She Glows, but I made a few notable alterations to suit our tastes.
This chili is sweet, smokey, savory, and all-around delicious. The recipe makes quite a lot, so save some room in your freezer unless you're planning on having a chili party. Don't worry, though--this is a recipe both vegans and non-vegans alike will love, so chances are any leftovers won't be hanging around your kitchen for too long.
To make this chili into an even heartier meal, serve over whole grain elbow noodles and with a hefty sprinkle of vegan cheddar (we're partial to Daiya).
Smokey Sweet BBQ Vegan Chili
Yields 8-10 dinner-size servings
Time: 3 hours
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sweet onions, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
3 Tbsp chili powder, or to taste
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, liquid drained
2 Tbsp tomato paste, to thicken
1 heaping Tbsp flaxmeal (to thicken)
2 vegan sausages (we love Field Roast Italian flavor)
1 1/2 cup frozen roasted corn
2 Tbsp your fav BBQ sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
couple handfuls of chopped spinach, or other greens like collard, kale, etc
What to do
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Crumble the veggie sausage up, then fry it until browned on all sides. Next, add the onion and garlic. Turn down the heat to medium-low and sauté everything for about 5-6 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add in the peppers and jalapeno, then sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the spices (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne) and sauté on low another 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are very fragrant. I
Next, add the chopped tomatoes. Rinse the beans, then add those, too. Stir well. Add the vegetable stock, then finally, stir in the tomato paste. The chili will be very thin and look almost like vegetable soup. Let it simmer with the lid off for at least 2 hours, or until the chili has thickened substantially.
Right before the chili has finished cooking, stir in the flaxmeal, corn, and chopped greens. Stir in the BBQ sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste. Be careful--mine ended up being quite salty thanks to the vegetable broth I used, so definitely taste it before adding any more salt.