This chili uses inexpensive dried beans rather than canned and spends the day bubbling away in the slow cooker. Start it in the morning, and it will be ready in time for a delicious dinner when you get home from work.
The “carne” in this recipe is textured vegetable protein (TVP). TVP is made from defatted soy flour and has a chewy, meaty flavor and texture; it comes dried in the bulk bins at most natural food stores.
VARIATION: “Picky Chili”: I like to call our usual version of this recipe “James’s Picky Chili.” “I love chili,” he says, “as long as it doesn’t have any onions … or peppers … or chunks of tomato … or green stuff … and as long as it’s not too spicy.” Allllrighty, then. So I leave out the onions and peppers and my son is in Chili Heaven. Feel free to skip the onions yourself if you have an onion-hating child.
From the book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008.