The Chili Issue…

A few months ago, during the Abu Dhabi “winter”, I asked my husband what sounded good for dinner. We agreed that, what better winter meal is there other than chili and cornbread!?
Now, it’s a given that anything we have is meatless. No biggie. I was scrolling through my recipe favorites and came across a Forks Over Knives recipe for Chickpea Chili. It was zesty and a perfect balance of chili pepper spice, lime and cilantro and I loved the slight crunchy texture of the chickpeas.

I thought we were in consensus of how great it was, but a few weeks later he was scrolling through my Pinterest app looking for a “real” chili recipe. What!? As I was trying to find the flaws in my chili he kept saying it was great but it just wasn’t really chili, it was more like “vegetable soup.” Umm excuse me Mr. I Can Barely Make A Peanut Butter Sandwich… no, it was chili.

He showed me this picture of a recipe that looked like red mush. I was immediately turned off by the sight of seemingly gargantuan kidney beans that looked like they were the entire dish. It was seriously the only ingredient you could see! Shudder. I commented how gross it looked and that no chili I ever made would contain kidney beans. He busted out laughing and exclaimed, “Babe! It isn’t chili without the kidney beans!!” 
Gag. What is it with kidney beans? Good question Darby-Olene! Let me tell ya: they’re overly large so the mushy, grainy texture is overwhelmingly prominent. They’re ugly, both in shape and in color, and I had them practically crammed down my throat as a child with rice. Apparently it’s a very affordable southern staple called “Red Beans And Rice.” It’s disgusting.
So we now have an issue with chili that will likely never be resolved! Oh well, C’est La Marriage!?
What brings this issue to mind though is tonight’s dinner in that it’s a soup and it’s not chili! Tonight I’m making a Polenta-Chili (as in the spice) Crusted Tofu And Black Bean Tortilla Soup.
Check it out:

Isn’t it lovely!!!? The recipe is below ❤

IMG_1312.JPGPolenta Chili Crusted Tofu

– 1 block medium to firm tofu (sliced in 2 inch rectangles)
– 1 cup polenta
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp chili powder
– dash of tumeric powder
– 1 tsp ground sea salt

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Gently and individually coat the tofu pieces with the polenta mix.
Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and bake them for a total of 20 minutes, flipping 10 minutes in. Pull them out and set aside.

The Soup
– 2 ears of fresh sweet corn shaved
– 1 medium red and orange bell pepper sliced to 1″ rectangles
– 1 medium onion chopped
– 5 cloves garlic minced (I LOVE garlic!)
– 1 zucchini sliced into 1″ rectangles
– 1 can organic black beans drained and rinsed
– 1 green and 2 red chili peppers thinly sliced optional (we LOVE HEAT!)
– 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
– 2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 6 cups vegetable broth
– 2 squeezed limes
– gratuitous handful of fresh chopped cilantro
– salt to taste
– red onion sliced for topping
– fresh jalapeño sliced for topping
– 1/2 avocado sliced for topping
– handful of blue corn tortilla chips

In a soup pot, sauté the onions, chilis and garlic. When the onions are clear add the peppers and zucchini. Let them sauté for a few minutes and then add the cumin and tumeric. Stir continuously and sauté until the veggies are slightly browning.
Add the vegetable broth, corn and beans. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the tofu, lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.
Serve into bowls, add your toppings and serve up with your blue corn tortilla chips on the side!

This serves 6!


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