Written by Mina, The Graves' Disease Chef
Hello my beautiful Butterfly Warriors. Happy Autumn and Happy World Vegetarian Day! Can you believe Fall has finally arrived?! It has here in California. Swoon!
I don’t know about your neck of the woods but it was a very long and hot Summer here in Cali so you can only imagine that the cooler mornings and chillier nights have received quite the welcome from me.
It's officially “sweatah weatha” and you know what that means for The Graves’ Disease Chef and my kitchen?
Not only is it time to change the menu, it’s also time to change out all the brightly coloured Summer dish towels, potholders and aprons and bring out the colours of Autumn. Time to start recipe developing again and creating new, fun and fancy Fall inspired dishes with the season’s freshest organic produce and flavours.
Time to add to my plant-based library of recipes that I’ve created through the years that now topple well over 700+ recipes from soups, salads, sides and sauces to rice, pasta and noodles along with simple to gourmet main dishes. And, now that Fall has arrived, the top of my list always includes comfort foods like soups, stews and Chili because c’mon, who doesn’t love a nice bowl of Chili?!
I grew up loving Chili! The entire house would always smell of amazingness while the big pot of chili would slowly simmer on the stovetop. Chili was just one of those memorable comfort food bowls of goodness that I always looked forward to whenever we’d have it. By the time I “grew up” I learned to experiment with many versions of it (long before I had embraced a plant-based lifestyle).
You name it, I’ve probably experimented with it.
Chile con Carne (with meat) – TexMex version. Chile con Pollo (with chicken). Chili con Pavo (with turkey). Chili con Porotos de Soja fermentado (with fermented tempeh) that's a mouthful just to try and pronounce. And now, as a plant-based Chef and foodie, I created the tempeh version and then passed GO, skipped tofu completely and made the next ultimate healthy vegetarian version of Chili and I'm sharing it with you! Are you ready?
All beans and all plants.
My homemade, Autumn inspired, Pumpkin Spiced Chili featured to celebrate Vegetarian Day has a cozy little twist though. Instead of letting it slow simmer on the range, this Chili will cook slowly in the oven, using a good-size Dutch oven. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, not to worry because a large heavy bottomed sauce pot with a lid will do the trick.
Why the oven though?
Here’s my WHY. When you “bake beans and tomatoes” together, it changes their flavour and texture. You get treated to a creamier, thicker consistency with a richer umami sweetness from the tomatoes, and the beans unleash a more savoury and caramelized deliciousness. Add pumpkin puree to the pot and you suddenly have a warm Autumn hug for your taste buds and tummy – served up in a bowl and piled high with all the fun mix and match garnishes.
What’s not to love? We could all use a warm Autumn hug. Right?!
I hope you’ll join me in celebrating World Vegetarian Day, along with World Vegetarian Month and give this a spin in your own kitchen this Fall and if you do, I’d love to know what you think. Love you big. Thank you for your continued support of this long-term healing journey.
You can usually find me sharing cooking demos and healthy lifestyle tips @thegravesdiseasechef on Instagram or my newly launched website: www.thegravesdiseasechef.com It has been a wild, beautiful and magical ride! I'm thrilled to be on it with you - living our best life - despite the challenges of thyroid disease! Giggles and Swoon, Mina "The Graves' Disease Chef"
PUMPKIN SPICED – DUTCH OVEN BAKED CHILI
3 TBSP – Avocado Oil, divided
13 oz – Field Roast (*) Chipotle Sausages, crumbled
1 Purple Onion – chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers – chopped
2 TBSP – Chili Powder
1 TBSP – Ground Cumin
1 TBSP – Pumpkin spice
1 tsp – Smoked Paprika
1 tsp – Cinnamon
1 tsp – Sea Salt
¾ tsp – freshly cracked peppercorns
6 Garlic Cloves – minced
1 Serrano Pepper – minced (for less spicy heat, remove white pithy membrane and seeds)
4 - 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
2 – 15 oz cans, Black Beans, drained & rinsed
2 – 15 oz can, Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
2 – 15 oz can, Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
1 – 15 oz can, Pumpkin Puree
3 ½ cup – Vegetable Broth, divided
1 – 7 oz can, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped (optional, use only if you fancy spicy heat)
1 tsp – Worcestershire sauce
2 fresh Bay leaves
2 TBSP – Unsalted butter (Vegan option, use Non-dairy butter)
1 tsp – Coconut Sugar
Corn or Flour tortillas, flame charred to warm up
Toasted Pecans, chopped or Pumpkin seeds
Crema, Crème fraiche or Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped Sweet Onions
Fresh lime wedges
(* Field Roast brand sausages are Vegan; feel free to substitute with any of your favorite vegetarian sausages).
Preheat oven to 180C/350F degrees.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 TBSP oil over medium until shimmering.
Add crumbled sausages and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausages to a plate. Set aside.
Add remaining 2 TBSP oil to Dutch oven, add onions and red bell peppers.
Cook over medium low heat until translucent and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in spices – chili powder, cumin, pumpkin spice, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper – to toast and release the flavours, 2 to 3 minutes until paste like consistency.
Add garlic and serrano peppers. Sauté an additional minute until aromatic.
Using a silicone spatula, gently stir in tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, pumpkin puree, 2½ cups broth, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (if using), Worcestershire sauce and Bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Bring to a quick boil over high heat.
Cover and transfer Dutch oven to the preheated oven.
Cook for 1½ hours, stirring every half hour or so. Sauce will continue to thicken. Add a few splashes of broth, each time and stir to combine.
Remove from oven, add butter and coconut sugar, stir gently. Keep covered and allow Chili to rest at least 20 minutes before enjoying.
Serve over flame charred fresh corn or flour tortillas and top generously with toasted Pecans or Pumpkin seeds, crema, cheddar cheese, finely chopped sweet onions, cilantro sprigs, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Eat your “Hearty” out and feel that warm Autumn hug.
SIDEBAR: To make this an even heartier meal, serve with rice. Chili tastes delicious with a side of freshly steamed rice or with my MexiCali fried rice (if you already purchased the Cookbook, you’ll know that both recipes can be found in the Rice Chapter of “The Graves’ Disease Chef – How to Master Simple to Gourmet Plant-Based Flavours from Around the World” Cookbook.)
Email me at ExecutiveChefMina@thegravesdiseasechef.com or send me a message on Instagram, if you’d like to receive the freebie "Sneak Peek Preview" of the Cookbook and I'll send you the link.
P.S. In the off chance you have leftovers, Chili tastes even more indulgent the next evening after all the flavours have had a chance to marry and mingle overnight in the pot.
I can't wait for you to try this Chili!
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