In my ongoing quest to find protein-rich vegetarian meals for kids, I picked up a package of Harmony Valley vegetarian hamburger mix at Whole Foods and knocked together a batch of vegetarian chili yesterday for a gathering with friends. Though I've always found the make-vegetarian-food-look-like-meat thing a little odd, now I get it. Especially when you need help transitioning someone from non-vegetarian to vegetarian eating. This chili was a huge hit -- Laurel loved it and the grown up guests were clamoring too. Here's the how-to:
1. Prepare Harmony Valley mix per instructions (so easy...just add water and let stand for 15 minutes). In a large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and stir for a few minutes. Add the prepared Harmony Valley mix and stir, breaking up chunks.
2. To keep the mix from sticking, add canned tomatoes, black beans, and pinto beans -- including the liquid from the beans. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and salt. (After all the ingredients are added, taste and adjust. I went mild on the spices because Laurel doesn't like things too spicy.)
3. Toss in the bell pepper, zucchini, and corn. Obviously, you can sub in whatever veggies you want but this collection made for a nice color contrast. Stir until ingredients are blended and veggies are heated through. Then turn off the heat to avoid overcooking the veggies (I like veggies to still have crunch to them). Serve chili with shredded cheese and tortilla chips if you like.
And that's it! Super easy, loaded with protein and fiber, and kids will enjoy too. Yay!
Image credit: Harmony Valley. They have lots of recipes if you need inspiration, but basically, use the vegetarian hamburger mix as you would ground meat. I will definitely be using this again for vegetarian tacos and lasagna.