My parents called from Hawaii yesterday, and they had just been to Zippys for breakfast. It reminded me that I used to like Zippys chili (it’s famous in Hawaii). After looking at copycat recipes online, I made a vegan version, and it’s really good–a keeper. Although I’ve made several vegan chilis before, this one is just a bit meatier and richer than the others, and it really does remind me of Zippys. I could see serving this easy dish for the Superbowl, or any game day. If you want a healthier vegan chili, try this Perfect Vegetable Chili with Quinoa. I like to serve chili with these Fruited Cornbread Muffins, or Tostitos Original Restaurant Style chips, Tofutti Cream Cheese, fresh avocado, etc. More photos below.
ZIPPYS VEGAN CHILI
11 oz. package Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles (or other ground beef substitute)
15 oz. can Kidney beans, with liquid from can
15 oz. can tomato sauce
10 oz. can Ro-Tel Mild Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (use 1/2 can, or more to taste)
2 teaspoons peanut oil (or grapeseed oil or olive oil)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Vegenaise Reduced Fat vegan mayo (the secret ingredient)
1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (No Beef, or Vegetarian, or No Chicken flavor)
1 Tablespoon Sherry Cooking Wine, (or red wine, or vinegar)
2 teaspoons minced dried onions (from the spices aisle)
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire, such as Wizard brand (it’s delicious)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cinnamon (a pinch equals 1/16th teaspoon)
Toppings of choice, such as vegan sour cream, avocado chunks and nacho chips.
Heat oil in small stock pot, and sauté onion and bell pepper. Set beans aside for now, but add all other ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 5 or 10 minutes. Add beans and bean liquid just before serving and stir them gently into the chili. Serve with vegan sour cream, fresh avocado, nacho chips, etc.
Notes: I avoid canola oil for purposes of flavor. I prefer Eden Organic beans because they use kombu to “salt” their beans, but any kidney beans will do. If you want it spicier, add the full can of Ro-Tel, or the Ro-Tel can simply be put out to dollop on bowls for those who like it hotter. The mayonnaise might seem an odd addition to this recipe but it’s rumored to be the secret ingredient in Zippys Chili, and it does seem to add an unctuous richness. I reduced the mayo by 75% here and the chili still tastes really good. I deleted the MSG from the original recipes, but if you want to add it back in, use about 1/2 teaspoon. I grew up eating a lot of Ajinomoto, and I didn’t miss it here.