Many, many people nowadays are concerned with the fat associated with meat. While vegetarian diets are frequently ridiculed, they are more often misunderstood. Many of the general populace don't believe that a hearty entree can be enjoyed without that certain taste of protein. But I am here to tell you that another kind of protein is satisfying if cooked right. TVP is just such a protein. Coming in a wide array of flavors, such as beef and chicken, it is very difficult to distinguish the real meat from this tasty substitution, especially in a recipe such as chili. This is a perfect example of a great beef flavor without the guilt.

8 ounces beef-flavored textured vegetable protein, or firm tofu
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 small bell pepper, cored and minced
1 medium carrot, peeled (if desired) and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon (or more) cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato puree or sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, undrained
2 cups kidney beans, undrained and unrinsed*

Crumble vegetable protein in a bowl until about the size of a dime. In a large saucepan, cook the textured protein, onions, peppers and carrots in olive oil, over medium heat covered, until the carrots are crisp tender, about 6-7 minutes.


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Remove lid and add chili powder, cumin and red pepper, continue cooking an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato paste. Continue cooking, uncovered now, and stir to blend well, until heated through. Add the kidney beans and, again, bring up to temperature. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and enjoy!

*The cloudy liquid you find canned beans in is mostly starch and salt that may change the texture or taste of a dish. Most of our recipes call for draining and rinsing the beans to remove the excess salt and starch and improve flavor. Draining the juice also helps to lessen the effect the beans have on causing gas. It really does cut down on how much gas the beans cause in your system.