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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

That's Like, Flava.
(this doesn't suck at all, I promise!)

Kitten, as you may or may not know, I am not gifted in the field of the culinary arts. In fact, one might best describe my cooking skills somewhere far below the rungs of "special ed".

Hey, if the gods had intended me to cook, they wouldn't have made so many sumptuous take-out options so readily available to me, right?


But lovin' a vegan can be very illuminating, inspiring, even, and yours truly felt inspired to make a tasty vegan treat for my beloved Boyfriend. But what to make, considering my record for rendering even the simplest recipes inedible?

Answer: CHILI!

My fledgeling attempt was good, but too damn firey for most to fully enjoy. My second attempt was better (which I actually shared shyly with Boyfriend), but it wasn't until we left the remains simmering (read: forgot it on the stove) that it achieved maximum chiliness. But after this, my third attempt, I am finally ready to share my creation with you, my darling Kittens.

So, without further fanfare, I bring you my first true kitchen success...


What you need:
15.5oz can of Red Kidney Beans
15.5oz can of Black Beans
15.5oz can of Garbanzo Beans
14.5oz can of Petite-Cut Diced Tomatoes with Jalapenos (Delmonte makes a good one)
14.5oz can of Diced Tomatoes with Mild Green Chilies (Delmonte, again)
15oz can of Tomato Sauce
3 Large Bell Peppers (one yellow, one orange, one red)
3 Cloves of Fresh-Pressed Garlic or 1 1/2 Tsp of Diced Garlic from a jar (love that stuff!)
1 Small Onion
Chili Powder (to taste)
Frank's Red Hot Sauce or other hot sauce (to taste)

How To:
Un-can all three beans and dump them into a colander. Rinse them with cold water and set aside to drain thoroughly. (reduces sodium levels considerably and the bean juice makes the whole deal too runny anyway.)

Dice up the onion and bell peppers as fine or as chunky as you like.

Grease up a frying pan with just enough high-temp cooking oil to slick the surface and heat it on high (I like avacado oil but regular vegetable oil does well in a pinch).

When the pan is hot enough to make stuff go pssssshhhhhhhht!, dump in the onions, bell peppers & garlic and fry the holy hell out of those bastards (or at least until the onions are semi-transparent and the mix is fragrant), stirring constantly.

Dump the drained & rinsed beans, both cans of diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce & your pepper/onion/garlic fry-up into a huge pot. A cauldron, if you have one, because damn, cauldrons look cool. Turn the heat up nice and high and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to cook down some of the juice and to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of your cauldron.

Start laying into that bitch right away with the chili powder. Really lean into it. I'm serious; one can never have too much chili powder. If you don't put a massive dent in that chili powder shaker, I'm going break my foot off in your ass, so help me god.

Once you've got shit bubbling good and hot, and you've cooked down some of that tomato juice, and have achieved roughly the desired thickness of your chili (with a bit of slack), turn that bitch way down low, cover it, and let it simmer. Go do something else for at least the next 1/2 hour, coming back occasionally (or in my case, obsessively) to stir and taste.

I like to let it simmer for longer than 1/2 hour, because chili just gets better and better the longer it cooks, but you shoud be able to get away with a 1/2 hour minimum.

In the last 10 or so minutes of that, you can either add the hot sauce to taste or leave it out to add on the side.

Find some groovy vegan booty to share the magic with and watch them become helpless in the face of your mad chili skilz.


Dude, is that easy or what? And I love it because it combines the only cooking activities I truly enjoy.
1.) Making stuff go PSSSSHHHHHHHHHT! in a super-heated frying pan.
2.) Stirring a big pot of something that's all stewy and hot-bubbling as I pretend I'm a witch.
3.) Wandering off in the middle of the cooking process and getting distracted by something.
4.) Constant, authoritative tasting.

Plus, it's something I can make that actually tastes good! The mix of different beans, variations in tomato chunk size (note: the types & cuts of diced tomatoes are compulsively detailed for a reason) and the volume & variety of bell pepper make this something you can have a huge bowl of and not get bored halfway through. You wouldn't even notice there's no meat in it!

And yes, I know it is sad to be so excited by such a small victory, but cut me some slack, I just graduated to remedial cooking.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 1:06 AM#
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Female/26-30. Lives in United States/Massachusettes/Brockton/North Brockton, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes Film/Writing.
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