A Recipe: Oil Free WFPB Vegan Bean Chili

Today I refined my dad's infamous chili recipe to produce a delicious whole-food, plant-based, oil-free, vegan version, just in time for Easter.

1. To half a cup of cheap red wine, add the following herbs and spices: cumin (2-3 tsp), black pepper (3-4 tsp), garlic powder (2-3 tsp), chili powder (1-2 tsp), salt (to taste), and optionally basil, thyme, rosemary, ground red pepper (for heat), and/or curry powder (for earthiness, whatever that is...) to taste.

2. Chop up a few cups of your favorite chili veggies, but hold off on the sweet bell peppers for now. I like to use onion, celery, sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini or yellow summer squash, and matchstick carrots at a minimum. Put the veggies in a large saucepan and pour in the wine sauce from Step 1. Put the pot on the stove and crank the heat on high for 5 minutes.

3. During the 5 minutes, chop up 2 or 3 sweet peppers and then add them to the fast simmering veggies. Stir them around. Simmer on high 3 more minutes.

4. During the 3 minutes, open a 15 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes and dump the entire contents into the saucepan. Stir it all around. Then open two 15 ounce cans of any kind of beans you like, drain (but don't rinse) them, and add them to the saucepan. Stir them all around.

5. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 30 more minutes.

That should yield you a decent amount of kickass chili. I'd keep the bottle of red wine handy in case your stove is hotter than mine and you need to lubricate the chili occasionally so it doesn't burn. Lubricate yourself too, if you like. Use common sense regarding what herbs to add to the wine sauce base, but the cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder (or real garlic) are must-haves, in my opinion. Optional add-ons would be some lentils (high protein substitute for ground beef) or vegan "fake" ground beef, such as the Gardein brand beefless ground crumbles, if you're feeding a group that includes omnivores. Note, the fake meat substitutes are often high in sugar, fat, and salt...though still better than animal foods from a health and ecological standpoint. So, adding them would not be strictly wfpbNO compliant.

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