Comfort Food

Oh, hello again, Monday.

Where did the weekend go?! I failed to accomplish everything I’d hoped to and listed in my Friday Forecast, but I did manage to fit in a vintage market, some camera shopping, and the Bears. I think we can all agree my time would have been better spent at Fleet Feet rather than watching that sad, sad loss to Green Bay on Sunday, but what can I say? I love that silly football team. Even Cutler. There, I said it.

Anyway, after sampling Antique Kitchen’s chicken chili mac on Saturday at the Randolph Street Market, I was itching to make some chili of my own.

Inhaling Chili Mac at the Randolph Street Fest

Pair that craving with a rainy Sunday and massive disappointments on the football front, and a massive pot of comfort food was more than in order.

Yes, I’m blaming my need for comfort food on the Bears, what of it?

But wait – stick with me on this one. It’s sort of amped up healthy comfort food. In my quest to increase my veggie intake and decrease my meat intake, I picked up this little gem at Trader Joe’s recently.

I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but I’m pleased to report that it’s extremely flavorful and juicy. Sometimes I think meat substitutes can be a bit chewy and taste, well, fake. This, however, tastes alarmingly close to real ground beef and isn’t overly chewy at all.

I’ll definitely be buying it again and am excited to try other recipes with it. But for now, here’s a chili recipe to help you forget (or celebrate) your team’s big game.

Chili Con Faux-Carne
1 package Trader Joe’s beef-less ground beef
2 cans of black beans
2 cups of frozen or canned corn
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato juice
1/3 avocado
 
Garlic Parmesan Polenta Croutons
1/2 package of Trader Joe’s polenta, cubed
1 – 2Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rated parmesan cheese
 

Combine the beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato juice in a large pot or dutch oven. Cook on stovetop on medium. Meanwhile, sauté beefless ground beef in a frying pan on low for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly gold brown.

Add beef to pot with simmering beans and veggies.

In a small mixing bowl add polenta, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Toss several times to coat polenta cubes and then add to a small frying pan. Cook on medium for 8 to 9 minutes, turning polenta frequently, until golden brown.

 Spoon chili into bowls and top with polenta croutons and avocado.

It’s official. I’m in love with polenta. Espcially when it’s fried up with garlic and parmesan and served with chili. I could eat this all week. And I made enough that I might be able to!

It should be noted that the boyfriend loved this chili. Loved. It should also be noted that he does not know the beef in the chili was faux-beef.

 It’ll just be our little secret, okay?

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15 Responses to Comfort Food

  1. That chili looks amazing, and I’m not even a chili lover. :) And the polenta croutons can’t hurt! What’s the faux meat made of- soy?

  2. That chili sounds so good! The polenta croutons are a stroke of genius.

  3. NICE! I’m heading to TJ’s this weekend (in ATL), so I’ll see if they have this!

  4. kilax says:

    I haven’t tried that fake meat yet! I will have to look for it at TJ’s!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE chili!

  5. kilax says:

    P.S. Love that your bf doesn’t know the meat was fake. Ha ha!

  6. HAHA! This is totally something I would do to Will– make something and not tell him whats really in it ;)

    I love your tact, girl!

  7. Ohhh, I’ll have to check out the beef-less ground beef. I buy a similar products made by Boca and Morningstar, but I bet Trader Joe’s brand is cheaper. And I think the polenta sounds like a fantastic addition to chili!

  8. LOVE that you tricked your man! I try and work that too but it doesn’t always work! Great recipe – I have some Boca crumbles I was trying to think of a fun way to use! Polenta croutons and chili sounds great!

  9. oooo chicken chili mac sounds soooo good… and comfort eating is a-ok :)

  10. LOVE TRADER JOES BEEF-LESS GROUND BEEF!!
    I am actually going to go get some today for some delicious, vegetarian Sloppy Joes! A favorite in my house-hold!

    Thanks for the kind words, love your blog!

  11. Saba says:

    Oh my god this is so good! I have a picky eater in the house hold and she is so hard! I made her these but in taco form. She ate 3 of them. Thanks!

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