There are about as many chili recipes as there are people who make it, but the traditional dish usually includes a good portion of meat, such as cubed beef chuck or ground beef. Not so in this vegetarian version that calls for tofu and black beans to give it substance but that still has the great chili flavour you want.
Black bean and tofu chili
Serving size 6
1 (350-gram) package of extra-firm tofu
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red pepper, finely diced
1 (796-millilitre) can of diced tomatoes
2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (540-millilitre) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen or canned corn (optional), thawed and drained
1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, or more to taste
Chopped green onions or cilantro to garnish
Dry the tofu, and cut it into small cubes, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide.
In a large, non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and over medium heat, fry the tofu cubes until lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.
Remove the tofu from the pan, and use a paper towel to pat off excess oil from the pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, sauté the red pepper, onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of oil for about 6–7 minutes or until the red pepper is tender.
Add the vegetable stock, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Mix in the corn (if using), the black beans and the can of diced tomatoes.
Simmer for 10 minutes to incorporate the spices, then add the fried tofu, and continue cooking over medium heat for an additional 20–30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat, and serve.
If desired, top with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
Garnish with chopped green onion or cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.
This recipe can easily be doubled and kept in the fridge for up to three days until needed, which makes it perfect for on-the-go families that need something quick and healthy at mealtime. This recipe also makes a great filling for burritos. Simply warm the chili, and add it to a flour tortilla. Top with grated cheese, sour cream or guacamole and shredded lettuce. Fold and serve for a snack or quick meal.