I was all set to make Black Bean Vegetable Chili (The New Basics Cookbook, page 520), but Sigrid isn't much of an eggplant fan, so I substituted beef for the eggplant.  And then I added some TVP to thicken it up.  It was really tasty.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 5 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. beef (some stew-type cut), cut into 1/2 in. cubes (the original recipe called for 1 eggplant, cut into ½ in. cubes, sweated with 1 T. kosher salt for 1 hour, then patted dry, and sauteed in ¼ c. olive oil)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 in. cubes
  • 1 c. chicken broth (originally: vegetable broth)
  • 1 c. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ c. basil, chopped
  • 3 T. chili powder (I used a combo of regular chili powder and ancho chili powder)
  • 1½ T. ground cumin (grind it yourself, ideally)
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 t. fresh ground pepper
  • ½ t. red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 2 c. cooked black beans
  • 1½ c. corn kernels (frozen is fine, though thaw before using)
  • ½ c. chopped fresh dill (or 4 t. dried dill)
  • ¼ c. lemon juice
  • ½ c. textured vegetable protein (I'm not sure about this quantity; use however much you want, until the chili is the texture you want)
  • (optional, for garnish) sour cream, grated cheese, sliced scallions


  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, saute the onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the beef in a large skillet in the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat. Work in small batches to ensure the beef browns rather than stews.  Add the browned beef to the stockpot.
  3. Add the tomatoes, broth, half of the parsley, the basil, chili powder, cumin, pepper, red pepper, and salt. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the beans, corn, dill, lemon juice, and textured vegetable protein.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning, and add the remaining parsley.
  6. Serve hot, with garnishes.
Serves eight.