Since I taunted you with Halloween yesterday I thought I’d give you something to make for your Halloween dinner party.
Cincinnati chili is similar to a regular meaty chili except it has unusual spices that you see more in pumpkin pie than an all-American stew. Traditionally it’s a meat chili that has kidney beans as an optional topping as well as shredded cheese and onions. Then oddly enough it’s served over pasta.
This one uses vegan ground and the lentils for the meaty texture. The unusual spices blend in more than you expect, but there are Cincinnati chili lovers and haters. Because of the extra spices the ingredient list may look intimidating, but most things on the list are a quick measure and you’re done!
This looks especially spooky over spinach pasta, but it would work well over black forbidden rice too. You can cut out ghost shapes out a slice of vegan cheese. Black sesame seeds or nigella seeds make great eyes!
Atmosphere is important in a Halloween gathering, but it doesn’t matter if you cut bats out of paper or buy the coolest decorations ever. No matter how much you do, you’ll be glad you put in the time!
Vegan Sin-cinnati Chili
Makes 2 to 3 cups (3 large servings or 4 small ones)
**This recipe uses a smaller slow cooker 1 1/2 to 2 quarts – you can double the recipe and use a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker
- 3/4 cup dry black beluga lentils (you can sub other lentils, the chili just won’t be as dark)
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup Ground Beefless (use Trader Joe’s, frozen crumbles, or cook 1/2 cup Gimme Lean)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper, like chipotle
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa
- pinch allspice
- pinch ground hot pepper of choice, optional and to taste
- dash of freshly ground nutmeg
- salt, to taste
- shredded vegan cheese, for topping
- chopped onions, for topping
- cooked spinach pasta, for topping
In the morning: Add everything except nutmeg, salt and toppings to the slow cooker . Cook 7 – 9 hours on low.
Add nutmeg, taste, and add salt or adjust other seasonings as needed.
Serve over cooked pasta and top with your choice of onions and/or cheese.