Up in Flames

I'm happy to report that I learned a new kitchen technique this past weekend that supports my cooking resolution. And guess who my teacher was? My husband! I know! All these years he's been living in my house with this dormant knowledge... You could have knocked me over with a feather.

And what is this great new thing I learned, you ask? Roasting bell peppers on the stove top.

Flashback to yesterday morning. I had proclaimed that I was going to make home-made vegetarian chili for dinner. I took to my cookbooks (and the internet) for recipes to cobble together. There was a particular flavor I had in mind... tomato. All ingredients were assembled on the counter and I was rolling up my shirtsleeves to get started. That is when my husband walked up and said "you should roast those peppers first". Huh, wha? Next thing I know, he had the gas burner on the stove on high and a red pepper sitting right in the flame. A Renaissance man!!

My goodness. What a difference! Those peeled peppers were an amazing addition to a chili that was outstanding. I couldn't be happier with this recipe and I thought I would share it with you all today.

My actual chili.

Tomato-y Vegetarian  Chili
2 large yellow onions (diced)
6 cloves of garlic (pressed)
olive oil
3 roasted red (or green) peppers (diced)
1 14.5 can of roasted diced tomatoes
1 46 oz. can of tomato juice
1 cup Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) - available at your local health food store or co-op.
4 fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 can kidney beans
2 tbsp Chili powder
Tabasco sauce
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable bullion/broth

1 hour before you are ready to make the chili, put the dried TVP in a bowl and cover with vegetable bullion/broth to rehydrate. Set aside. Roast and peel red peppers. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, (I use a dutch oven) heat up ¼ cup of olive oil. Brown the onions and then garlic until they are well carmelized. Add the roasted red peppers and cook until they are heated through. Add the can of roasted diced tomatoes, tomato juice, kidney beans, and the TVP. Add chili powder. Salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste. Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Add diced fresh tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes.

I found a youtube video where they show almost the exact pepper-roasting technique we used. Trust me, it's well worth the extra cooking time!

If you are a fan of tomato-y chili, I really hope you try this recipe! Talk to you soon...


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