This dish was initially inspired by The Czar's Pinot & Pepper Sauce. Jack Czarnecki is a chef from Oregon who created his own sauces and when I saw that one of their suggested recipes was chili, I had to try it. The sauce is made with Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon along with soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, brown sugar, spices, and chili powder. It was the peppery Pinot sauce that contributed to this dish coming out perfectly.
I used one container of the Rethought Red Beans by Better Bean. These skillet sauteed beans are made with onion, tomatillo, and jalapeno pepper. One could eat them right out of the container.
I also used SOL Cuisine's Organic Veggie Crumbles. Quite honestly, I didn't love the way these veggie crumbles tasted out of the box, but once in the chili, they added the perfect texture to it. The veggie crumbles are like ground beef, but with 88% less fat. This product is made of soy flour, molasses, onions, sunflower oil, tomato paste, onion powder, cane sugar, garlic powder, etc. I do like that most of the ingredients are organic.
Enough about the products, let's get to the chili!
Pinot Pepper Chili
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced into little circles
- 4 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 box (10-ounce) vegan ground beef (I used SOL Cuisine Veggie Crumbles)
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used BPA-free Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes)
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa
- 2 14-ounce cans/containers of kidney or red beans (I used Better Bean Rethought Red Beans and 1 can of kidney beans)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup The Czar's Pinot & Pepper Sauce
- Spring onions, chopped (optional, for garnish)
- Vegan cheddar cheese (optional, for garnish) (I used Daiya cheddar cheese)
First, heat up a large saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and saute until cooked, about 6 minutes.
Add vegan ground beef and cook for another 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and cocoa and cook for 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and add beans, salt, and the Pinot & Pepper Sauce. Cook uncovered simmering on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes to allow the flavors to mesh.
Garnish with spring onions and vegan cheese, if desired.