What can be better than huddling by the fireplace on a night so cold that the roofs and sidewalks are still blanketed in two-days-old snow and even my cold-seeking pooch refuses to step outside for a walk? Huddling by the fireplace with a bowl of my belly-warming Chipotle and Cumin Spiced Vegan Chili, of course.
Things have been rather unadventurous in my kitchen of late, because I am cooking now not just for Desi and me but for Jay, our six-year-old who eyes any food that's not dal and rice with pure terror. After cooking almost every dal recipe I could think of over the last two months, interspersed with some pasta and sandwiches and noodles (reception lukewarm to cold), I decided to test Jay's tastebuds last night with this moderately hot but complex vegan chili.
Because Jay has never eaten meat before, I was a little unsure about how he'd respond to a meat substitute in the food: I used Field Roast's Mexican Chipotle grain sausage. I also added a vegetable that Desi and I love and which is almost always in our refrigerator, but one that Jay, again, eyes with fear: mushrooms. I threw in some carrots, a bell pepper, onions and tomatoes, and kidney beans for a bigger protein bang. As the chili simmered on the stove, fiery red from the smoked paprika and chipotle and flecked with the pretty oranges, greens and yellows of the carrots, coriander and bell peppers, I wondered if I was about to launch on another night of Jay chewing over his food slowly with a sullen look on his face, me getting angrier by the minute, and all of us spending a frustrating hour at the dinner table.
It was not to be. The little critic actually polished off the chili without a wrinkle on his face, and surprised me by declaring: "Good!" Just as rewarding-- it took me only about an hour to get this red-hot chili from scratch to the table.
Next, your turn.
Chipotle and Cumin Spiced Chili
- 1 ½ cups dry red kidney beans, soaked overnight then pressure cooked or boiled until really tender
- 1 package Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage (4 pieces) run through a food processor until it has broken down to a coarse, grainy texture, the size of TVP granules. If you can't get this brand, use around 1 pound of any vegan sausage and add 1 chipotle chili with 1 tablespoon of the sauce instead
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 8 ounces of crimini or button mushrooms, minced
- 1 large carrot, minced
- 1 bell pepper, any color, minced
- 1 large tomato, pureed
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves or cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil. When it shimmers, add the onions and garlic.
- Add a pinch of salt and saute on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to just brown.
- Add the mushrooms, sausage, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir well and cook about five minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
- Add the cumin and coriander powders and smoked paprika. Stir to mix. Add the tomato puree and dry herbs along with the carrots and bell peppers.
- Add the beans and stir well, then add some water if the chili is too dry. Bring to a boil. Add coriander leaves. Cover and simmer on the lowest heat setting for 30 minutes so the vegetables are well cooked and the flavors have melded together.
- Add salt to taste. Serve hot with some crusty bread or rice.
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Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul
Yum! I love a good chili, especially when it's made with Field Roast 🙂
Hi Vaishali! Happy New Year! This recipe sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it. I don't like fake meats since I've been a vegetarian all my life, and a vegan for the past year. My kids don't like it either since they are being raised vegetarian as well. How would quinoa taste in place of the fake meat? I need something to add substance without the texture of fake meat.
Also regarding your *picky* 6 year old, I think it's so totally normal to have a limited palette at that age. My now 12 year old would eat nothing but yogurt and rice or oatmeal till he was 6 or 7. Now he's the most adventurous young kid I know. He is up for anything as long as it is vegetarian! My 6 year old daughter on the other hand is the picky one now. I know it's just a phase.
Hope my 6 year old has the same reaction to this one as your little guy!
Thanks for all the recipes! Keep them coming!
This sounds yummy! I'm making it over the weekend with some soya granules. How would I get the chipotle flavour though? My 7 yo tastes have changed through the years. There are some foods she loves and eats always. The rest come and go. I take each new veggie she likes as a win! Jay sounds like a regular 6yo being fussy about something as inconsequential (to them!) as food. Good going, mama 🙂
Hi Noodle, use one chipotle chili with 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of the sauce (based on how spicy you like your food!). Cheers. 🙂
Forgot to mention that we live in India and I don't have access to Chipotle chillies! Any subs you can suggest please?
Noodle, try any fairly hot chili powder. Would be just fine.
Sounds delicious as always! I do not often have the opportunity to actually cook your wonderful recipes, but I always enjoy reading them! You are such a natural writer. Do you make your living writing? If not, you should!
Thanks for your kind words, John. And yes, I do write for a living, although I find that I have the most fun of all writing this blog because it's my own little space where I can say exactly what I please. 🙂
I haven't used Field Roast sausages in recipes but I like the way they taste and your recipe sounds really good. I don't know if you had any leftovers but if you did I was wondering if the ground sausages maintain their texture. I know tvp does well over several days time in chili recipes but unsure about Field Roast.
Hi RC, yes, the sausages do maintain their texture-- we polished it off by the next day so it didn't stand around too long. 🙂
Mary @ Fit and Fed
Field Roast Chipotle flavor is very spicy! Even my spice-loving husband and sons find it a bit much at times. So congrats on successfully expanding your son's palette! It's a lot of work, gradually finding more and more things that he will eat, but very worthwhile. I'm sure you will find it rewarding over the long run to see how much of your your good cooking he will eventually eat and love.
Hi Mary, that's so very kind-- I am realizing that the key is to recognize small victories and keep pushing on. This morning he finished a waffle in 15 minutes; the first time I gave him a waffle, it took him 30 minutes to eat half of it. So we're definitely making progress. 🙂
Sounds yummy! I'm sorry: at what point do you add the cooked beans? It's probably there, and I just missed it.
Sounds like Jay's absolutely a normal *person*: set in his ways about what he prefers to eat, until he's surprised by something new. I know a lot of adults who won't try new textures, spices, etc. It's so wonderful you and your husband are opening the door to a whole new perspective on life, and of course food.
All my best to you and your family,
Thanks, Rebecca, exactly my thoughts. Jay's just being a six year old, and the good thing is that even when the foods are unfamiliar to him, and it is quite obvious he doesn't like them, he does eat them. Which is better than most adults I know. 🙂
And thanks also for pointing out the omission of the beans-- I've added. Cheers! 🙂
This sounds incredible!!!!!! I am making it tomorrow thank you xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox
Thanks, Nancy, hope you try it! 🙂
I know this is probably a naive question, but is Jay in any kind of counseling? It sounds like he has serious food issues; I have never heard of a six-year-old being so reluctant to eat, especially since you prepare foods he is used to. Also I've never heard of a kid who didn't like spaghetti, etc., and I know you've made such heroic efforts.
Hi there, Jay isn't used to eating foods that are strange to his palate-- which spaghetti is. That does not make him a kid in need of counseling, it just makes him a kid. At six he has already formed his food likes and dislikes, and because he ate certain foods all the time he is used to them, but that doesn't mean he can't get used to new foods and he is, albeit slowly.I think it was quite admirable that a child who has been a vegetarian all his life could eat chili with a meat substitute and like it.
I have two children, 10 and 8 and they are pickier eaters than Jay. My 8 year old will only eat potatoes ( mostly in any form) and mangoes- raw. No milk, no yogurt. My 10 year old is a little better.
every child is different and it is not a pathology- it is a beautiful variation which we embrace.
when we dont embrace these differences and get stressed, it stresses the child too.
One thing, I would do if I were you, is to really enjoy food and the entire experience of cooking and eating as a family. I mean really enjoy it. You would love it/ like it for him to enjoy it as well but when you start "needing" him to do what you want ... then you introduce stress. The idea is for him to enjoy food and "want" to try different foods. I made many mistakes in this department after listening to people, I tried forcefeeding my child( very bad idea), works on 1-2 meals, I tried bribing (terrible idea), tried a feeding specialist ( he has not swallowing issues) so obviously it did not work. goodluck, you are doing great.