Friday, January 1, 2010

Chili - Buddy's Diner Style

There was a wonderful diner, now closed, in my town that served the most divine hot sweet chili.  This chili inspired two similar versions in my prior omnivorous life, including an all beef version.  The enormous New Years Day challenge is to recreate this recipe using no meat.  This is the first attempt.  I halved the proportions of my usual recipe expecting it to be a flop. The ultimate test would be whether or not Uncle Meat & Potatoes would eat it with reckless abandon. Uncle Meat & Potatoes had never tasted the original.  We had all been lounging about like slugs gorging on  party leftovers from the night before - another reason I expected people not to be very hungry and interested in this - unless it was delicious.

Winner, Loser, or Meh

I thought it was not going to taste as great as the original.    Uncle Meat & Potatoes asked for a bowl at around 7 PM.  He loved it instantly and is on his 5th bowl.  Auntie EQ had a bite of his. She is quite petite and got up and ladled a bowl for herself, too. 


I used a 2 1/2 - 3 quart crock for this.  This recipe can easily be doubled.

  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, diced
  • 12 oz package Morninstar Grillers Crumbles
  • 1 tsp Vegetable Better Than Boullion
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbls soy sauce
  • 14 1/2 oz can diced peeled tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/3  6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 Tbls chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 3 tsp sugar or Splenda equivalent (I used Splenda)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Diced red onions (optional)
Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium high heat.  Saute onions until soft.  Add to crock with all other ingredients except the optional toppings.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Serve warm with optional sprinkled cheese and onions. Makes 4 generous servings.

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