Shane’s Sweet & Spicy Chili (and a Tiny Vegan Victory!)

January 18th, 2010 9:11 pm by Kelly Garbato

Every fall, the husband’s company holds a chili cook-off. While he always talks a good game about entering, the day always seems to pass him by, chili-less. (Not to imply that he’s bluffing; rather, he makes the hour-long trek into the office but once a week, leaving him out of the loop and slightly less motivated to drive in to enter when the day finally rolls around.) guess 2009 was his year, though, because he entered a dish and came in…*drumroll please*….second place! Out of, um, four dishes. But wait! It gets better.

As y’all probably already know, the husband is a vegan like moi. And his veganism is well-known around the office. (All those “team” and catered office lunches.) So of course he couldn’t enter the dish under his own name right? For starters, he didn’t want anyone to hold his chili’s “lack” of “meat” against him. (Call this the “weird vegan shit” factor.) Plus, he had another, hidden agenda – an agenda which was, dare I say, even more important than winning. He wanted to see if he could make a chili that might “pass” as not-vegan. Hence all the Boca Burgers and TVP in the recipe below!

Well, as I’ve already said, his chili came in 2nd out of four entries. His runner-upedness is due solely to the fact that he made his chili too damned spicy. Good for him, cause that’s his thing – but for his office mates, not so much. I told him: if you want to win the popular vote, you’ve got create a product/message/dish that’s watered down, inoffensive, palatable to the masses. In the end, he refused to compromise his culinary integrity, and 2nd place is his reward. Whaddyagonnado?

More importantly, no one suspected that his chili was vegan! Everyone thought his “meat” was the real deal. (Um, wait.) A few office mates even knew or suspected that he’d enter a vegan dish under someone else’s name, and so were on the lookout for an impostor. Vegan WIN!

Anyhow, here’s the recipe – as best he can remember it, that is. There’s a whole lot of taste testing and recalibrating involved. Also, it makes a rather large pot, so you may want to adjust the portions accordingly.

As I’m not one for excessive spice – some mild salsas are too much for me (!) – I did not go near this dish. Nope, it’s Chocolate Chili (hold the chiles and chili powder) for me, thank you very much. (Grounds for divorce, anyone?)

Shane’s Sweet & Spicy Chili

2009-11-19 - Chili Contest - 0002


olive oil
6 Boca ™ Burgers, partially thawed and cut into “beef”-like chunks
2 medium onions, diced (I prefer white)
6 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
2 16 oz cans of light red kidney beans
2 16 oz cans of dark red kidney beans
2 16 oz cans of white kidney beans (also known as cannellini or fazolia beans)
3 cups texturized vegetable protein
12 chopped jalapeño peppers
3 sliced Bell peppers, any color and spice level will do
Predator Great White Shark Hot Sauce (or preferred hot sauce) to taste
brown sugar to taste
mustard to taste
paprika to taste
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste
black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
white bread flour to taste


1. In a large frying pan or skillet, bring a few tablespoons of olive oil to a boil. Toss in the diced onion, cooking on low for several minutes (or until almost translucent), then add the chunks of partially thawed Boca Burger. Fry until well done, like “real meat.” Set aside.

2. Put all of the tomatoes (diced, stewed, paste) and canned beans (including all their “juices”) into a large pot and slowly bring to boil.

3. Turn down heat to low and add sliced/diced jalapeño and bell peppers, as well as the fried Boca “meat.”

4. Cook, covered, on low for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.

5. After 2+ hours, mix in the texturized vegetable protein. Add spices, hot sauce, and brown sugar to taste.

6. Slow cook for 1+ hours until the you’ve reached the desired consistency and taste. Use flour to thicken the dish; water or tomato juice to thin it out.



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7 Responses to “Shane’s Sweet & Spicy Chili (and a Tiny Vegan Victory!)”

  1. Maida Says:

    Did I read that right… 12 jalapenos?? Holy cow!!

    Hooray on 2nd place! I find that knowing a dish is vegan and expecting it to be different/weird/gross unfairly influences people’s real opinion of it. Good idea entering under someone else’s name!

  2. Kelly G. Says:

    I know, right! What can I say? I warned him that scorching holes through the judge’s mouths might count against him…

  3. HV Says:

    That sounds yummy! Assuming I cut down the peppers to 1 or 2. LOL

  4. The mofo scoop on Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop. (Cue: gratuitous ice cream not-porn.) » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] didn’t dare try it, but according to Shane – who loves spicy foods – that shit was hot. The recipe calls for three medium-sized jalapeños, to be tempered by a […]

  5. chili sin carne, para los perros » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] is a much, much milder version of Shane’s (award-winning!) Sweet and Spicy Chili. For the dogs, that is. (Yes, I feed my dog-kids a vegan diet. No, I’m not sacrificing their […]

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