Gimme Lean Chili

Half a pound of kidney beans have been sitting in the cupboard for a few mouths. They weren’t a priority, mainly because I didn’t actually spend any money on them. They were a find.  Someone had left the beans in one of the kitchens of Emerson College’s dorms with a sticky note that said “FREE :)”

If it’s free, it’s for me.

Now that I am preparing to move out at the end of the month, I realized it would be best to eat up everything I can so I don’t have to move it. (I live on the fourth floor and am moving to another apartment on the fourth floor. There are too many stairs to overcome, making anything less anything less than an absolute neccessity unworthy – especially a pound of  beans.)

I don’t like kidneys too much, but I do love chili. So I made chili, using the vegetable stock  we always keep in the freezer.

I took a leap of faith and decided to compromise between a meat chili and a bean chili. I bought some meat-like tofu from whole foods, the LightLife brand Gimme Lean Beef, which looks like this:

It crumbled up nicely and tastes really good in the chili, as long as you’ve got it all seasoned up right. I sauted it with red peppers and onions, and though it didn’t brown up like beef, the texture was comparable.

After the onions started to caramelize, I added:

1 cup of kidney beans

1 cup of cannellini beans

1 large can of stewed tomatoes, peeled

4 cups of vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme)

1 tablespoon of hot sauce

Bring this to a boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about a half hour, if you can wait that long. I added some smoked gouda to melt on top and served it along with a square of corn muffin, which I still have yet to get rid of.

Eat up!


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