No Chop Chili - Vegan Version with TVP
Top with with some Fritos corn chips... Yum!
I have been making a super simple chili that I call “No Chop Chili” for more than 10 years. The recipe is based on a “knock off recipe“ I found on the Internet; the chili is supposed to taste like the chili you get at Wendy’s Restaurants. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and I just kept making it the same way over and over. Most of the times I have made this chili over the years, I made it with ground beef. In the past few years, I’ve substituted ground turkey to make a lighter version. This is a recipe I make for my husband at least once a month. The leftovers are great.
A number of months ago, I decided to switch to a vegan diet and my husband followed along a few months later. He was craving the chili so we decided to make the chili with “Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger”, which is an item you might be able to find at your local grocery store. Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger is a rather expensive item. It’s a vegan meat substitute and is made from pea protein and other ingredients. At my local store, it costs $9.99 for a one pound package. When I make the No Chop Chili with the Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger, I make the chili following the original recipe, but I substitute half of the one pound package of Beyond Beef/Beyond in place of one pound of ground beef as described in the recipe (or I double the recipe and use the entire pound). Here is the original No Chop Chili recipe which you could easily follow if you’d like to make the chili and substitute Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger (Click HERE for the original No Chop Chili recipe). I like to make the recipe with just half the amount of Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger for two reasons: cost and taste. My husband says a little of the Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger goes a long way. It does really give the chili a different flavor which he compares to the “flame grilled flavor” you might be able to imagine in some packaged foods.
My husband is very happy with the Beyond Beef/Beyond Burger version of the No Chop Chili. Me? Not so much. I am not the biggest fan of the the “flame grilled flavor” and I also find the the smell and texture kind of weird. I am not knocking the Beyond Beef brand. Like I said, my husband loves it. I was hoping to make a vegan version of the No Chop Chili that was more like the chili I’ve been making for so long but I desired a different meat substitute.
I recently tried a new-to-me ingredient called Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP). I thought it might be good in this recipe, I tried it out, and I LOVE IT. I’ve already made it two times in the last few weeks.
Here it is:
No Chop Chili - Vegan Version with TVP
1 cup Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), I used Bob’s Red Mill Brand (See LINK)
2 1/2 cups water (divided)
1 beef style bouillon cube (I use a Not-beef Bouillon cube, Edward and Sons brand) See LINK
1 15−ounce can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15−ounce can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 8−ounce can tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, fire roasted if available (liquid included)
1 4−ounce can of diced green chilies
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. I use a Pyrex measuring cup that is microwave safe to heat the water. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water; stir to combine. Place the TVP in a medium sized bowl; pour the “beef” flavored broth over the TVP and set aside for about 10 minutes so that the TVP can absorb the liquid.
2. Add all of the remaining ingredients to a soup pot plus 1 cup of water. Add the hydrated TVP to the pot including any liquid that was not absorbed by the TVP. Stir to combine.
3. Cover the pot with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally).
The chili is good by itself.
It’s even better topped with some diced fresh onion (we use sweet onion).
Better yet... top the chili with diced fresh onion and some dairy-free cheddar style cheese (I like Daiya brand).
If you want to get a little decadent, place a handful of Frito brand corn chips in your chili (Yep! The original Frito corn chips just happen to be vegan!). Pretty much any corn chip is good in the chili. Of course, little oyster crackers or saltines are good in the chili as well.