Monday, September 21, 2009

You know what autumn means, right?

Chili season!

And those loyal readers who have been here year after year know how much I delight in being able to come home and whip up a bowl of chili, whether it's filled with beef, turkey, chicken, or even completely vegetarian. It's all I can do to hold off all summer and wait for the first day of cool weather to begin my constant experimentation that will last until next summer.

I discovered canned chipotle peppers in adobo in the winter of 2007 and have been using them fairly regularly in my chili ever since - I love the kick they give, which is a different kind of spice than the chili powder and cayenne we used in my family chili recipe growing up. Thatboy likes to add siracha to his, but then again he adds siracha to almost anything - eggs, potatoes, and there was the one time I let him make spaghetti and he added it to the jarred sauce.

My favorite part of chili is how nice and full you get from the meal itself, even when carbs are nonexistant. It's a surefire protein powerhouse. And to make it even more of a powerhouse, I add one of my favorite protein ingredients - tofu. This chili is an excellent introduction to tofu if you're a little unsure. Tofu is fantastic at soaking up the surrounding flavors, and in this case it is completely "hidden" in the chili flavors. Plus there's beef in the dish, so meatlovers won't feel ripped off.

Tofu Chili

  • 1/2 pkg firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  1. Slice tofu in half vertically, giving yourself two thin rectangles. Wrap these rectangles in paper towels and place under heavy plate for 30 minutes to drain of excess moisture.
  2. Unwrap tofu and cube.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5-7 minutes until soft.
  4. Add ground beef to onions and cook until beef is browned.
  5. Drain excess oil and add tofu to pan, cooking until tofu is golden on all sides.
  6. In a separate pan, heat remaining oil over medium high heat and add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes start to "melt."
  7. Add garlic, peppers and bouillon cube to tomatoes. Simmer 3 minutes.
  8. Add tomatoes to ground beef and simmer another 3 minutes.


  1. Oh man, that looks good, hot spicy and so yummee!!!!

  2. I heart chili. I don't care what's in it.

  3. There is not much better than a steamy bowl of hearty chili on a cool fall day!

  4. I question your decision to kick of chili season on 1)the day before the predicted hottest day of the year and 2) with tofu?! ;)

  5. Oooh - what a great way to use tofu! Thanks for posting, this may be the perfect way to get my veggie friends to enjoy chili with fellow carnivores!

  6. That looks terrific! I don't eat tofu a lot, but really like it- I just don't have enough good recipes. When things cool off down here, I'll make your chili.

  7. It would have never occurred to me to slip tofu into my chili. I think I will try.

    I love chipotle in chili too--if only my eldest could take the heat.

  8. I still have frozen chipotles in adobe sauce to use up. I should try it in some chili...

  9. Chili and soup weather couldn't come fast enough once it hit October. :)