My go to fall meal – Chili!

It’s legit fall in Los Angeles. Love it! Okay, okay you got me; in LA fall and winter are pretty much the same thing.  That doesn’t stop me from bundling up, wearing scarves and fingerless gloves, as well as cooking all the warm meals it was too hot to make in the summer. It’s chillier outside and it even rains a bit, so I need soup. I need my favorite, go to fall meal. Time to make the chili! Vegan chili with vegetarian corn bread is served.

I’m a sucker for chili. Chili with a side of cornbread!  Now some crazy people have things twisted with the idea that chili isn’t chili without meat in it.  That’s just silly guys. Crazy talk! I’ve perfected my chili recipe, my meat free and vegan chili amazing. If you top it with some cheese and or light sour cream it’s not a vegan meal, but the chili still is. I’m a sucker for that dairy on top and I’ve paired my chili with a delish healthy cornbread recipe. Now let’s dive in!

My chili is so easy to make.  I swear, you barely have to do anything.  Take an onion and chop that bad boy up.  Put it in your pot and add a little olive oil, fresh garlic (or garlic powder), and at least a tablespoon of chili powder.  I always add more to make things very spicy.  Bam! While that’s cooking on medium heat, chop up a red or green pepper.  Add that guy to the onions and let it all sauté.  I’m partial to adding a can of diced spicy chili peppers (from Trader Joe’s) as well for more kick.  Stir everything around and finally add in a can of Trader Joe’s diced fire roasted tomatoes.  Then stir some more, stir it all up! Now it’s time for the beans; I use one can of black beans (keep the liquid) and one can of white beans (wash the liquid out).  I also add a cup of vegetable broth, at least a tablespoon of hot sauce and a tablespoon of lime juice to the pot with the beans.  Stir that baby up and lower the heat.  Since I fancy the faux meat products, I like to grab half a package of Soyrizo from the fridge and add it to the chili.  It’s now become hard to find, so instead I’ll use half a package of veggie meat.  Cover that bad boy and let all the flavors meld together for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili’s done so onto the cornbread! I searched long and hard for a solid, low fat cornbread recipe that didn’t sacrifice taste and my guy is so happy I found it.  It’s way simple and super yummy.  Take a cup of cornmeal, a cup of whole wheat flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and three tablespoons of sugar (I use raw sugar) and mix that all together.  In a separate bowl mix two egg whites, a cup of almond milk, and 1/4 cup canola oil.  Once together add the wet to the dry, put it in a baking pan and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  That’s it! If you’re feeling naughty, add a 1/4 cup of shredded cheese prior to baking.  Way delicious!

This meal rocks! It’s the best fall meal around, trust me. You can totally make it 100% vegan by not using any cheese and subbing out the egg whites.  Use a tablespoon of flax seeds with three tablespoons of water; it creates a gel like substance that’s a great egg replacer.  Now the fun part, eating this bad boy! I put the cornbread down in a bowl and load the chili on top, so the spicy juices soak into the bread.  I cut up some avocado to top the chili, with a little cheese and a dollop of light sour cream. Yum!

This is definitely one of my favorite fall/winter meals. It’s so simple to make and it’s bursting with flavor! Chili and cornbread is always a crowd pleaser.  It’ll taste like it was time consuming to make, but it couldn’t have been easier.  Enjoy!

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