It’s Football Season!

13 Sep

The Bedford Hornets youth football teams played their first games of the season yesterday, and the weather couldn’t have been more appropriate. Sunny, yet crisp, with the smell of fall in the air. It was a perfect football-watching day. Brady plays for the Mods team and Madison is a cheerleader for the Senior team. Brady played a great game, and his team came home with a win! Madison had a good time cheering her heart out and dancing at halftime.

Since we left the house at 9:30 in the morning and wouldn’t be returning until close to dinner time, I pulled together a batch of vegan chili before we left and let it simmer in the Crockpot all afternoon. I think chili is the ultimate fall meal — meaty, warm and filling. When I was in college, I worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers. I loved taking home a container of warm, spicy chili after work on a fall day. It was made with cooked burgers leftover from the day before. They took the burgers and simmered them in water until they became soft and broke apart. If I remember correctly, the crumbled beef was drained then mixed with tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, dried vegetables and some kind of seasoning packet. It’s still my favorite item on their menu, although I haven’t had any for a very long time because I no longer eat meat (and it’s probably outrageously high in sodium!).

The chili I made for dinner  last night is a veganized version that I think comes pretty darn close to the taste of Wendy’s chili. I replaced the beef with meat-free ground “burger” crumbles and packed it with two kinds of beans, green chilies, tomatoes and a nice mix of spices. Topped with diced onions and cheddar cheese (vegan or regular), this is a great substitute for Wendy’s chili. I served it with a tossed salad and cornbread muffins. It was just the right ending to a day of football.

makes 14 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 ounce package meat-free burger crumbles such as Yves or LightLife
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt or salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
2 14-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 14-ounce cans no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
2 14-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
1 cup water

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic. Saute until starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Stir in burger crumbles and all seasonings. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. At this point you can transfer mixture to a slow cooker and cook on the Low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Or, cover the stockpot and continue to simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve with toppings such as diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, hot sauce or crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Here are some pictures from the Hornets season opener…

Brady (#66) taking down his opponent.

Stopping the ball carrier!

Doing some serious blocking.

Madison rocking it out during the halftime show.


One Response to “It’s Football Season!”

  1. Brianna November 21, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Chili’s always a great vegan meal of course, but this was pretty good! I made a few changes to make it work a bit better for us.. I didn’t cook the veggies first, so I didn’t end up needing the oil. Just dumped everything straight in the crock for about 5 hours on low. Also used one less can of kidney beans, since I prefer more black beans than kidney. I also just eyeball the ingredients.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

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