Mary’s Award-Winning Chili, Vegan Style


December 6, 2012 by jenniebean10

One of my dearest friends, Mary, is a meat lover. Mary loves bacon. Mary likes meat on her meat. When we went to Stone Brewery on a Meatless Monday, Mary ordered a sausage platter. Mary has no qualms about rubbing it in my vegetarian face when she’s eating meat. And I’m okay with that. Back when I was still an omnivore, we grilled together. Mary is such a little cutie! She’s studying library science at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), so when I drive home for breaks, I try to swing through Ann Arbor to visit her. And to eat tamales with her at Pilar’s….


Mary and Me! Playing in the fountain after finals

Last year, Mary competed in a chili cook-off and won FIRST PLACE! She was kind enough to share her recipe with me — though the original calls for bacon and ground beef, the seasonings are really what makes this chili so fantastic. They include cocoa powder(!!), hot sauce, and LIQUID SMOKE. So even though my chili was meatless, it had a really nice smoky meat flavor to it! Mary’s recipe calls for Chipotle Chili Powder, which I did not have in my pantry. I’m really dumb about which chili powders are actually spicy…apparently plain old chili powder is NOT. My chili lacked spiciness because I used regular chili powder instead of the chipotle kind. If you’re a heat wimp, then my recipe is PERFECT for you. If you would like to spice it up, I recommend you add chipotle chili powder, or some other spice so that you can feel the burn. I recently hosted a chili potluck with a bunch of my friends in Gettysburg, and I made my vegan version of this chili (throwing in some fake meat), along with firecracker cornbread. The cornbread was very spicy, which made up for the fact that my chili was not. This was my second time making the chili, so I can’t say I was surprised at how tasty goody it turned out. I tripled the recipe for the amount of guests I had, and wound up with some leftovers to freeze. It freezes very well!


Mary has generously agreed to let me feature her award-winning chili recipe on my blog so that I can share it with you all! I’m posting my adapted version, but THIS is her recipe: Mary’s Victory Chili (aka Smoky Bacon Chili Delish)


Smoky Vegan Chili Delish
original meat recipe from Mary: Mary’s Victory Chili
yield: about 5 large servings

1 package / 12 oz. fake ground beef, otherwise known as TVP (texturized vegetable protein), original flavor (they only carry the LightLife brand at my grocery store)
1-2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 t. liquid smoke
1/2 T. chili powder (use chipotle chili powder if you want it spicy!)
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano leaves
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 t. Tapatío (or other hot sauce)
1 can / 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 can / 15 oz. light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can / 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. frozen or canned (drained and rinsed) corn

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onions, garlic, and liquid smoke until the onions are clear. Just before the onions are done, add the fake meat/TVP.

Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the beans and corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in beans and corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness.

Serve with cornbread, a little bit of shredded cheese, and enjoy!


So if you’re ever in Ann Arbor and bump into Mary, or she happens to be your librarian in the future, just walk up to her, say, “Hay gurl haaay,” and thank her for sharing this chili recipe. Because it’s totally awesome, JUST LIKE HER!


6 thoughts on “Mary’s Award-Winning Chili, Vegan Style

  1. Célia says:

    I’m cooking it right now 😉
    It’s simmering… and smelling GOOD!!!

  2. Mary Buchner says:

    Haha, you’re the best!!!! CHILI FOR ALL.

  3. Kelsey Mc says:

    Aaaand I’m kind of mad I clicked it.

  4. Kelsey Mc says:

    I’m kind of mad you linked to Tasty Goody Chinese Restaurant.

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