In my 18yrs of being vegetarian and than vegan and than vegetarian again, than wheat free, than vegetarian lactose free eating out has been interesting. I have been fed the staple salad diet by many who think all vegetarians and vegans lived on lettuce and tomatoes, the dry baked goods with enough sugar to make you the first vegan/vegetarian with type 2 diebetes, because being vegan meant we feared moist food and need lots of sugar because the foods we like can be tasteless and soo many more.
I will be fair and say that Asian cuisines have been kind to me , both flavorsome and hearty, even when I avoided the MSG, oyster sauce, fish sauce and conola oil(because I don’t do GMO). However, one can only eat the same dishes on a regular basis before starting to want new and different; after all eating vegetarian/vegan/ vegetarian lactose free does not mean eating thai and indian only. What happens when you feel like a pizza, or banana bread, or chilli? Yes chill!
I always self explanatory that to make a vegetarian option or vegan option you just had to leave out the meat, meat products and/or dairy. EVERYTHING else stayed the same. It seems for some, I am wrong! After all how can you make a chilli if you don’t eat meat?
My quest to make awesome chilli that was naturally Zoe friendly (organic, GMO free, vegetarian, lactose free, little to no wheat) started with my visit to a cafe in down Seattle. Once again my options where limited for what I could eat. I managed to find a cafe/shop that was Zoe friendly or so I thought. My only option was a vegetarian chilli, which turned out to be a watered stock with tomatoes and some mixed beans. I felt I could do better, so I went home and did! Have a go at what I came up with and share your end result.
6-7 roma tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
2 -3 teaspoons tomato paste
4 -5 garlic cloves
3 cans of mixed beans or 4 cups of boiled mixed beans
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Tabasco chipotle or a smoked pepper sauce (organic)
Begin by chopping your onions small. You can do it chunky too if you are brave, but just remember to cook well. Next turn on the stove to mid to low setting.
1. Place the oil in the pot and add onions. Yes, I know, I know , but I like the oil to heat up with the onions so I am not leaving the oil at a high temp for longer than it needs to.
2. Next stir. Ok, so now we want to leave the onions on low heat for 5mins or till you start to see onion soften. Add tomato paste. now we can tend to washing our tomatoes.
3. Place the tomatoes in a bowl with hot water and wash. Use a veg wash if you can and a veg brush. If these items are not in your cupboard right now try bicarb soda and vinegar or lemon. These are good for taking of dirt and wax as well. Once you have finished washing your tomatoes, chop into small pieces. Don’t forget to remove any sticker labels on the tomatoes.
4. When you are finished chopping the tomatoes, add them to the pot and stir. Do not add water, or stock! Stir and cover. The steam from the pot will help build moisture in the pot so don’t panic. Cover and set stove setting to med/low
5. Next get your tofu and break apart, I like to use my hands but you can use a fork
6. Place tofu in a frying in pan and add some olive oil. Cook until light brown.
7. whiles tofu is cooking, empty cans of beans in a sieve and rinse until, thick fluid from can is removed. If you have boiled and cook your own beans. rinse the fluid from the beans.
8. Add beans to tomato Stir, making sure the tomato stew coats the beans..
9. add your tabasco chipotle or smoked pepper sauce. Don’t over do it, start small, and add to taste.Cover and lower heat
10. peel garlic and chop or crush, which ever way you like it. add to beans and tomatoes. Stir
11. Add your tofu. Stir, cover and leave for 5 – 7 mins
Serve with avocado and organic corn chips or organic corn tortillas