There’s a chill in the air and chili in my pot. I love making chili because it’s such an easy meal that can be packed with nutritious vegetables and protein without adding an ounce of meat. My carnivores never complain because my vegetarian versions taste better than any pot of meat chili they’ve ever eaten. I do love my tomato-based chili recipes. They are all delicious, but today, because of the football game, I had to leave out the tomatoes, tomato paste or anything that would make my chili a crimson color. If I knew how to make it purple and still look appetizing, I would have. I guess white chili will have to do.
For those that do not know me: I am from Louisiana, a huge LSU fan, and I bleed purple and gold. However, I’m married to an Alabama fan, who loves his crimson as much as I love my purple. Today, our teams play: Purple vs Red. He may have influenced a son or two to wear crimson, but there will be no red chili in the pot today because I control the kitchen. I hope you enjoy the best white chili you’ll ever eat and Geaux Tigers!
The flavorful white sauce in this chili comes from blending cashews and chickpeas with broth until you have a thick peanut-buttery textured cream. I like to blend in a little onion and garlic, too. Balance this with fresh roasted peppers and green chilies. The mildness of the three types of white beans mingled with tofu sauteed in spicy seasonings, throw in the opposing taste of sweet corn, and we have a serious chili brewing in the pot.
Here’s a few snapshots of the process:
Roast the peppers, peel and chop them. Season, saute’, blend, open the cans, throw it all in the pot with the spices and you’ll have a delicious bowl of game day chili.
- 3 cans of white beans, any the type or a mixture of three types
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can sweet corn
- ½ can of vegetable broth
- ¾ cup of cashews
- 2 large red bell peppers, fresh
- 1 small can of green chilies or 3 tablespoons of green verde' salsa
- 1 (16 oz) package of tofu, extra firm
- 1 large chopped onion, finely chopped (use some of it to add to the nut, chickpea cream)
- 4 large cloves of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder, plus a little more after cooking if taste desires
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, more if necessary
- 1 sprinkle of cayenne
- 1 sprinkle of smoked paprika
- Salt and garnish with green onions and/or parsley
- In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil.
- Roast 2 red peppers, cut them in half and remove seeds. Brush with olive oil, turn them upside down on a pan and roast in a 500 degree oven until the skins are blackened. Remove from oven and remove the skins. Chop the peppers and set aside.
- Blend the cashews, broth, chickpeas, and a little onion/garlic from the skillet (3 T). Blend to a thick cream. You will need a good blender or food processor for this step.
- In a medium skillet, add a little olive oil and saute' the tofu. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and paprika. Cook until the seasoning is covering the tofu and slightly absorbed into it.
- In a large stock pot, add the beans, the tofu, the peppers, the green chilies, the onion/garlic, and the creamed cashew sauce. If necessary, add a little more broth. Cook for another 10 minutes and the chili will be ready to serve. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning.
- Garnish with green onions and parsley.