Monday, January 30, 2006

Vegan Chili

We hosted a dinner party this past weekend; mostly friends who used to work with me. If you divided the room in half, the number who were laid off outnumbered the number who left on their own. That tells you an idea of the unruly group I hang out with.

Given that it was January, I opted for crock-pot recipes. Most of those foods are easy to make ahead of time pretty hearty, plus they’re pretty hearty on cold days. Who knew it would be 55 degrees. (We left the windows open until everyone got cold. We like to call that environmental marketing.)

I needed to make two main courses since I had my first Vegan attending. I’m like the polar opposite of vegan so my knowledge in this area is pretty limited. I did rent a beach house with a gluten-free person. We showed up to find the kitchen equipped with two pans. After she described the physical aliments she would undergo if something with gluten touched her food, we jumped in the car and purchased a whole set of cookware.

Worried over what violent illness what might occur, this time in my own house, I began searching the Internet for vegan crock pot entrees. In a fairly short time, I narrowed my decision to chili. It looked pretty easy; you just threw every vegetable known to man in a pot and tossed tomatoes over it.

After spending 15 minutes in the produce section, we visited the let’s-pretend-it’s-meat-but-it-isn’t-really section. My worry was that the normal amount of tomato juice wouldn’t absorb into anything so I decided to brave it and purchase one of the “sausages.”

Larry was my helped as I created the chili and the carnivorous dish, beef stroganoff. We were finishing off the chili, when I handed him the meatless meat. The item looks like a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage patties.

Here, fix this and put it in the chili,” I said.

It says I’m supposed to fry it,” he replied after reading the directions. (He’s helping me so I resist the urge to hit him upside the head.)

Then fry it, babe.

Ten minutes pass. “I don’t think this is right. It doesn’t brown, it doesn’t sizzle, and it doesn’t leak fluids or juices.

That’s because it’s not real food, Larry.

We put it into the chili and let the stuff cook for the next five hours. Our guests arrive and as were gathering folks to the buffet, Larry explained more on the chili preparations.

It has all sorts of veggies in it, plus this soy stuff that looks like wallpaper paste. I like to call it ‘Spackle Chili’.

Our Rachel Ray of endorsements strikes again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, we actually like the vegi sausage by Morningstar and the vegi Buffalo wings (also by Morningstar) - hell, even Dave opts for them so that can't be that bad.


10:20 PM  
Blogger Kevin & Kristy's First Home said...

5 stars to the Vegan Chili. My vote counts, because I'm the Vegan!

10:30 AM  

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