Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vegan Texas Chili

Texas chili isn't like chili anywhere else. Texas chili never ever has beans. Ever. Once you add beans, Texans will politely call it a bean stew. Some people say that Texas chili shouldn't have tomatoes either, but no one pays much attention to that rule.

I've been wanting chili for a few weeks, and nothing is hitting the spot. Dewey makes a very nice, er, four bean stew, but it just isn't chili to me. The no-bean rule is always a problem for vegetarians because once you add those beans, it's not Texas chili anymore. A sausage patty recipe on A Veg*n for Dinner gave me the idea of using bulgur in place of the meat. And it worked wonderfully. The bulgur soaked up the flavors and kept a nice chewy bite. This was pure comfort food.

Bulgur Texas Chili

1 or 2 tablespoons oil
small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup bulgur
3 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 can rotel (I used mild)
1 can water
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Fry the onions in oil until they are soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add all the spices and stir to combine. You can leave out the cayenne to reduce the heat a bit. Add the bulgur and stir everything together again. Combine the soy sauce and ketchup and pour the mixture over the bulgur. Stir continuously until combined.

Pour in the can of rotel (or about 10 ounces diced tomatoes). Fill the can with water once and add to the other ingredients. Add the tomato paste and stir everything once more. Bring everything to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. If the chili is too dry, add some water. Texas chili can be anywhere from moist to somewhat soupy, whatever your preference. Serve with tortilla chips, fritos, or cornbread but NEVER rice. (Another one of those rules.)


Mary said...

YES! I'm bookmarking this. I grew up on bean stew, I guess, but lately I've been craving a chili that will blow my socks off.

dsharp88 said...

Very interesting to use bulgur instead of TVP or the like. Looks very delish!

mollyjade said...

I try to avoid using tvp or any other isolated soy protein. I don't think I've ever cooked with bulgur before though. This was a pleasant surprise.

Mary said...

I am eating this right this second. Yum! Well done! The bulgur perfectly replicates ground beef. I did not have rotel, so I used a 14-oz can of diced tomatoes and a 4-oz can of mild green chilies. I also added an extra can of water. Served it with tortilla chips and hot sauce--perfection! Thanks so much for the recipe!

Evelyn said...

We had this for dinner the other night, and we both really enjoyed it. Would you mind if I posted the recipe in my blog? I'll link to it also.

mollyjade said...

Go ahead! I wish I could give you some of ours. We're competing in the Lonestar Vegetarian Chili Cookoff this Sunday, and we made a 2 1/2 gallon practice batch last weekend.

Alin said...

I'm totally going to make this tomorrow! I'll have to add some beans.....on the side. Can't wait to try your AWARD WINNING recipe!!!!

mollyjade said...

Just be sure the beans and chili don't touch too much!

Gary Loewenthal said...

Hi mollyjade,

I'd like to enter this chili as "Texas Tribute Chili" in the Vegtoberfest chili cook-off in Baltimore, Oct 9, 2011 ( (Did you get my emails on this?)

Ty / said...

i love that it uses bulgur! i bookmarked it, thanks!

Jillian Benson said...

Thanks so much! I turned the chili into Frito Pie.

Picture is here

I am definitely saving this recipe.

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