Texas blasphemy: meatless chili


I had a hankering for chili the other day.  When I told Carson I was going to make a big pot we could eat through the week, he spoke words  I rarely hear him utter: "Can it be meat-free?" 

Meat-free?! To Texans, this is blasphemy: chili apparently isn't even supposed to have beans in it, let alone meat-substitutes.  But as someone who is always telling him we eat too much meat (at least during BBQ-heavy months...which are most in these parts!), I was totally fine with it!  I weighed the options and decided to make one using beans, veggies, and some bulgar wheat for texture-- because we have a TON of it leftover from making Lebanese food, like tabbouleh and kibbeh.

I adapted this simple recipe I found on a blog called Door Sixteen.  And this is what I came up with:

Veggie Chili
10 servings or so

1-2  T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 or more T chili powder (I thought 2 T made it mild!)
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large poblano pepper, seeds removed and chopped
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
14 oz can of black beans, drained
14 oz can of kidney beans, drained
14 oz can of pinto beans, drained
2 cups of corn
1-2 cups dark beer
1 t cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup bulger wheat
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic until they are softened. Add peppers, celery, and chili powder-- cook another ten minutes.  Add tomatoes, beans, beer, corn, salt, and spices.  Cover and simmer for twenty minutes.  Stir in the bulgar wheat, cover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes.  Once all veggies and bulgar are soft, remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar.  Enjoy with cornbread and shredded cheddar and/or sour cream!

This makes a LOT!  I tired of chili after day 4 and the rest is now in our freezer.  Really easy weekday lunch or dinner though!