Vegan Gluten-Free Cashew Chili

If you’ve ever been, we don’t even need to discuss how awesome Wegmans is.

If you haven’t, you should. I didn’t know it existed until I found myself in Ithaca, NY. It’s not quite as awesome as the Whole Foods in Portland, Maine, but it’s pretty darn close. I have an almost absurd obsession with frolicking through farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and the like. I also read cookbooks for fun. I don’t need to buy or eat anything. I just need to look at it. I will go to the store with friends even when I know I don’t have money or the need for food. I don’t know why. It’s like porn.

The Wegmans bakery is my preferred museum/playground.

So there are my thoughts on Wegmans. Why the rant? Because that is where I got my recipe.

I went to the café at Trident Booksellers in Boston this weekend, and on the menu I saw a vegan cashew chili. I didn’t get it, instead choosing an awesome falafel burger. Being a vegetarian has been a breeze for the most part–there are just two things I miss: pepperoni pizza and a really good burger. So the vegetarian-friendly burger won out. But I couldn’t get the cashew chili out of my head.

So I made some myself. And it was AWESOME. Arguably one of the best chili recipes I have ever tasted. The cashews were just so magical floating amidst the subtly spicy tomato-y, herby goodness.

This will please almost any palate and is appropriate for many major food restrictions (dairy, soy, meat, etc.).

I only made a third of this recipe, as I’m the only one eating it and cashews are pretty expensive around here. I was a little skeptical that 1/3 cup of cashews would be enough, but as you can see, there are a TON in each cup! It’s really easy to make a third of this recipe, because a tablespoon=3 teaspoons! Magic, I know.

Making the chili, I used canned beans and added some water at the end, as this recipe was super-thick. I didn’t have any peppers when I made it, but will certainly use them next time. I also omitted a quarter of the oil, used fire roasted tomatoes, and chopped my celery and onions quite finely (I’m not a huge fan of big onion/celery chunks). This recipe is super flexible–if you want more heat, add some more red pepper flakes. If you prefer a different type of bean, do that. Add whatever veggies you have in the house. The spices in this chili are a really great chili base and I will definitely be making variations whenever possible!

Cashew Chili

Adapted from Wegmans Cashew Chili

14 servings (Full Recipe)

16 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups (2 medium) onion, 1/2-inch dice
4-6 cloves peeled garlic, chopped
3 cups (2 medium) green peppers diced
2 cups (one small bunch) celery diced
2 Tbsp ground cumin seed
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp salt
3 cans (14.5 oz each) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup (1/4 lb) roasted unsalted cashews
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

  1. Heat oil, onions, and garlic in large stockpot on MEDIUM-HIGH for 2 min. Add peppers and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 min, until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, red pepper, basil, oregano, dill weed, bay leaves, and salt. Cook about 1 min, stirring. Add tomatoes; reduce heat to MEDIUM. Simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beans to stockpot with veggie/tomato mixture; stir. Return to MEDIUM. Add cashews and red wine vinegar. Add water if chili is too thick (water measure could vary depending on brand of tomatos, etc.); simmer. Cover, tilted to vent steam. Cook 15 min, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Serve or store in refrigerator.

A mug-full for lunch and decorating a new notebook? Sounds perfect :)

(Many thanks to Pinterest for all of my quotes!)

 

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