Chipotle and Black Bean Tempeh Chili

Chipotle and Black Bean Tempeh Chili

Chipotle and Black Bean Tempeh Chili

Making chili should be an easy, homemade treat, but chili competitions and throwdowns can make it feel like it should be Instagram-ble or complex. Typically meat is central to chili, yet this tempeh chili is a contest contender for a comforting, satisfying homecooked meal.

Even though it’s meatless, you end up with a dish that pays homage to chili flavors and textures but uses the plant-rich tempeh to boost fiber and nutrients.

Ultimately chili is about the flavor and texture. Make a sassy spice mix and create an appetizing chew or density and tempeh can sub in for a meat protein.

Ingredients

Spice Mix:
4 teaspoons chili powder (if mild, add more)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Tip: Make a double batch and store half for second chili batch or rub on other ingredients.

Chili Ingredients
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (2-8 ounce packets) soy or grain tempeh, crumbled by hand
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 ½ cups)
3 medium-sized cloves of garlic, minced
Spice mix—about 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (of use ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce–canned (about 2 tablespoons minced) (substitute—see notes)
3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 (15 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained (or use diced tomatoes)
2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, liquid poured off or drained (see notes)
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tablespoon) (a second-best option is red or cider vinegar)
Optional Toppings: 1 avocado, diced, ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, dab of Greek yogurt
Chipotle options: Substitute with chili flakes and smoked paprika

Steps

  1. Heat oil in a large pot (4-quart) over medium-high heat. Add crumbled tempeh to hot oil—do not stir. Stirring encourages steaming and reduces surface contact that browns the tempeh faster. Once it starts to brown, stir periodically while it browns in parts (about 5 minutes more). Reduce heat if it begins to stick or burn.
    2. With a spoon, push tempeh to the sides of the pan leaving the center of the pan exposed. Reduce the heat to low. To the center of the pan, add the onion, garlic, spices, tamari and chipotle. Stir the onion mix leaving the tempeh against the sides of the pan. Cook 5 minutes or until onions soften.
    3. Add the water and tomatoes. Bring to a rapid simmer, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
    4. Add the black beans, stir and prepare the topping garnishes.
    5. Stir in the lime juice, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from the heat. Garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro.

Tips

  • Wear gloves when handling chilies–the oils are difficult to wash off your fingers. Canned chipotle peppers (smoked jalapeños) in adobo sauce add heat and a smoky flavor and are available in supermarkets. Refrigerate extra in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks or 6 months in the freezer

BBQ Grilling Tips for Delicious Veggies: The Sweet and Meaty Taste Science of Grilled Vegetables

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About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

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Go-To BBQ Sauce: Smokey, Spicy, Tangy & Sweet

Go-To BBQ Sauce: Smokey, Spicy, Tangy & Sweet

Go-To BBQ Sauce: Smokey, Spicy, Tangy & Sweet

Creating a BBQ sauce recipe is basically asking for a culinary throwdown. With parts of our country owning different styles and declaring theirs as the best, I tread on hallowed ground. However, when I get a craving for BBQ, these are the ingredients that hit the flavor and taste points that I crave most, so after many requests for this sauce, I’ve finally dared to share my go-to BBQ sauce. 

a BBQ sauce recipe is basically asking for a culinary throwdown

4-Points BBQ Sauce: Smokey, Spicy, Tangy & Sweet

In this easy, quick sauce, you get a hint of acid (limes are great, but I’m using the pantry-ready vinegar option), a touch of tangy smokey heat from chipotles in adobo sauce (canned smoked jalapenos–another pantry item if you like heat), sweet and umami from ketchup plus smokey notes from paprika and liquid smoke).

And, yes, I’m also inviting a grammar controversy by going with “smokey” instead of “smoky”. I have a relative named Smokey, so maybe that’s why, plus in a grammar throwdown, “smokey” is now nearly as accepted as “smoky”–I know for sure, cuz I googled it.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (I like Wrights Natural Hickory Smoke)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine or grated on a microplane grater
½ cup of ketchup
2 teaspoons chipotle en adobo sauce (sauce or sauce and finely minced chilies)
1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari (a nice quality low-sodium soy sauce works also)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Optional 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey if sauce has a bitter or sour edge

Steps4-Points BBQ Sauce: Smokey, Spicy, Tangy & Sweet

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the Worchestershire sauce, vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, ketchup, chipotle, tamari and paprika.
  2. Slather onto whatever strikes your fancy.

BBQ Sauce Serving Ideas & Notes

  • This can be kept in a jar or covered container for 7 days without much noticeable flavor losses.
  • I like Wrights Natural Hickory Smoke because it’s simply water and liquid smoke (I have no association with this brand)

BBQ Grilling Tips for Delicious Veggies: The Sweet and Meaty Taste Science of Grilled Vegetables

Opt-in HERE to Periodic updates on recipes, culinary nutrition and simple ways to eat well and enjoy good food

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce with Nutritional Yeast

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce with Nutritional Yeast

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce with Nutritional Yeast

Garlic walnut herb sauce with nutritional yeast

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce with Nutritional Yeast

This sauce is a creamy pesto-like sauce with parsley, walnuts and extra garlic but instead of cheese or added salt, it uses nutritional yeast.   Some people call this “nooch”, to give it a more affectionate, shorter name. Despite the technical, yet correct, ingredient name or its cutesy nickname, nutritional yeast offers authentic nutrient benefits and culinary options as a cheese substitute, low-sodium ingredient and thickener.   I don’t typically use products to substitute for authentic or “real food” ingredients, but I make an exception periodically with nutritional yeast. In addition to its great amino acid and fiber profile, has surprising savory, umami notes when cheese isn’t an option (see the tasting section below).

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce with Nutritional Yeast

 Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and the hard stem base is removed
  • ⅔ cup unsalted walnut pieces
  • 1½ cup tightly packed fresh parsley ( 1½-2 ounces w/ stems)
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh basil (a bit over ½ ounce w/ stems)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (picture posted below)
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons if a more liquid sauce is desired)
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Optional: ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (resist the temptation to add a lot more cayenne since it will mute the herb and nutty flavors)

Prep Steps:

  1. Add the garlic and walnuts to a blender and pulse a few times for a course mixture.
  2. Rinse and dry the herbs. Destem the herbs, but some of the thinner parsley stems won’t be a problem.
  3. Add the herbs, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Blend until sauce is smooth.
  4. Serve immediately. If storing in the refrigerator for later use, place plastic wrap directly on the exposed surface area to reduce oxidation which will turn the bright green color to a more muted army green color.

Garlic and Walnut Herb Sauce

  • Nutritional yeast provides the full range of essential amino acids, but most importantly (since it has to taste good!), it offers savory umami attributes due to glutamic acid.
  • In this recipe, the perception of umami is further triggered by the use of walnuts, also high in glutamatic acid.
  • Nutritional yeast adds salty notes to the sauce despite its minor sodium contribution of 5 mg for 3 tablespoons. Three tablespoons of this brand also offers a nice fiber boost at 5 grams.

I used KAL Brand of Nutritional Yeast Flakes purchased from Whole Foods and available in bulk at some grocery stores. I have no preference for brands; however, there are some taste, texture and quality differences.

  • Serve as a topping for roasted veggies
  • Excellent as a dip for roasted cauliflower florets or raw vegetables
  • Use as a sauce for pasta, rice, salmon, sautéed tofu or poultry
  • Use to garnish tops of creamy soups
Nutritional yeast spoon

“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”

~Old New York Proverb

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

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