Vegan Tofu Chili: Hearty, Healthy, & Budget Friendly
Cool and wet weather calls for chili amiright? Many of the “recipes” I create are based on mood, time (both of day and how much I have), and what I happen to have in my kitchen. Tofu needs to be used, so Vegan Tofu Chili it is. Add a few pantry items, some spices, a bit of produce and you have a pot of hearty and healthy Vegan Tofu Chili ready in about an hour.
- 1 – 16 oz. package hard [firm] tofu*, drained and pressed; see below
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced [I used a trio of frozen here because that’s what I had]
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion sliced into thin moons
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 cups Bock beer [I used Austin’s own Celis]; or substitute with vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp sweet smoked [Spanish] paprika
- 1 tsp cumin seed, crushed between your thumb and fingers
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper [or more or less to your desired heat level]
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fine seal salt [I used pink Himalayan]
- 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes with liquid
- Optional: fresh lime, pico de gallo, and/or avocado
Drain tofu and remove from container. Place on a paper towel lined plate, cover with another plate, and place weight on top to assist in removing excess liquid from the tofu.
Let tofu sit while preparing and cooking other ingredients.
Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Cook bell pepper, onions, and garlic until tender; about 7-8 minutes.
Add all spices to the pot and stir constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes. This will help release the natural oils and enhance the flavors of the spices.
Add beer (or stock) and stir until combined. Gently stir in beans and tomatoes. Cover and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 30 minutes, taste the chili mixture and adjust seasoning as desired.
Crumble tofu into chili mixture as shown below, and gently stir until thoroughly combined.
Replace lid and cook tofu vegan chili on medium low heat to allow flavors to penetrate tofu. Serve while hot and enjoy.
TIP: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice really helps brighten things up, especially when using canned goods. 🙂
*Never worked with tofu before? Or you have had it and didn’t like it? Here’s a great “Beginner’s Guide for Tofu Haters” by Karen Ahn.
When is Austin, be sure to visit Celis Brewery.