Monday, December 12, 2011

christmas tree chili

Well the holiday season is definitely here, and it's getting increasingly busy by the minute. This weekend I helped celebrate my boyfriend's 29th birthday, and finally got the chance to cut down Christmas trees with my family. We had to postpone the original date due to weather, but this past Saturday turned out to be absolutely beautiful.

As tradition dictates, we enjoyed coffee and donuts at my parents house, hopped in our cars, drove up to the mountains, chopped trees, and enjoyed the famous family chili. I honestly can't remember a time where we didn't chop trees and eat chili :)

However, since becoming a vegetarian, I've begun bringing my own meat-free chili to the celebration, and I think it just gets better every year.
This year I based my recipe off of Robin Robertson's Chipotle-Kissed Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili and this one from my BFF Michael. I combined both ideas, threw everything into a crock pot the night before, and early the next morning, I was rewarded with a big ol' pot of vegetarian chili.Here are just my random thoughts on my homemade chili:
1. A variety of beans gives it it great color and flavor- black, white, kidney, & chili are all great
2. I started my chili with some sautéed onion, garlic, carrots, and celery- all good ideas, except the celery, which gave it a funny taste.
3. Boca ground crumbles were perfect for texture and consistency. I've used TVP before, and it's just not the same- crumbles or fake beef are definitely the way to go.
4. It's all about adjusting the seasoning. A little more chili powder, a little more garlic salt- after simmering all night, the flavors weren't perfect, but a little trial and error in the spice cabinet really made the difference.

The tree hunt was successful, and the veggie chili turned out great! If you've got any chili secrets, I'd love to hear them, so hopefully next years' batch will be even better! Now all that's left to do is eat them leftovers, and decorate those trees ♥

1 comment:

  1. Great post! It was a wonderful day. I'm going to send you my recipe for vegetarian chili with portabellos....yummo!
    Keep bloggin'