“Phajita” Chili

In last week’s post, SUPER EASY, DAIRY-FREE, SUPER BOWL NACHOS, I shared my recipe for making game day nachos in a snap. In the tradition of game day noshing, this week I am sharing a recipe for “Phajita” Chili and a vegan version of Double Cornbread from America’s Test Kitchen.

fajita chili2

When I created this recipe for a chili cook-off, I wanted it to stand out from the other entries which would most likely contain meat and I didn’t want it to be just another veggie chili. The butternut squash and fajita style onions and peppers give this chili a sweet and spicy edge and the black beans round out the traditional chili vibe.

Have you ever been in a Tex-Mex restaurant when all of a sudden you know it is coming, you can hear it first, sizzling away, then, you can see the steam and smoke trailing off the skillet, and as the sight passes by a waft of onions and peppers (and meat) fills your senses and you wonder if you are going to leave the restaurant smelling like fajitas? I have and this is what inspired my vegan “Phajita” Chili recipe.

fa·ji·ta, noun, \fə-ˈhē-tə, fä-\:  a marinated strip usually of beef or chicken grilled or broiled and served usually with a flour tortilla and various savory fillings —usually used in plural

Since fajita seems to refer more to the strips of meat in the dish and just so there is no confusion with the omission of meat, this plant-based chili is referred to as “phajita”.

“Phajita” Chili

For roasted vegetables:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2-3 lb Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

3 bell peppers of different colors, sliced

1 onion, peeled and quartered

Salt and pepper

For the chili base:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

10 medium-sized crimini mushrooms, sliced

1-6 ounce can tomato paste

1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1-28 oz crushed tomatoes

4 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of cooked black beans

Salt and pepper

To garnish:

Sliced scallions or cilantro



Pre heat oven to 425F

Toss squash, quartered onion and bell peppers with 2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper. Spread vegetables out in a roasting pan. Place in oven for 35-40 minutes stirring a few times throughout cooking to ensure even browning. When ready, squash should be tender and onions and peppers should be caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.

To start the chili base by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot on medium-high heat; add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Next add the jalapeno pepper and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to sweat and cook down.

Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and coriander stirring until these ingredients are well mixed with the onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes. Next add the crushed tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid from the tomatoes starts to reduce.

In a blender or food processor, blend tomato, onion, mushroom mixture from pot with half of the roasted butternut squash until smooth; adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of stock if need to blend. Return blended mixture to pot. Add the remaining vegetable stock, black beans and remaining vegetables from the roasting pan to the pot. Stir well, simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro or sliced scallions and double cornbread.

fajita chili clsh



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