At Harmony House, we find that when the winter blues are getting us down, there is nothing better than a bowl of hot and delicious vegetarian chili to cheer us up. We love veggie chili so much that we created three unique, delicious recipes for our customers using our premium quality dried beans and vegetables (though, you could count them as six because we offer a seasoned and unseasoned version of each)!
The 2017 Spring Equinox, the official end of winter, won’t happen until March 20. So we’ve got a ways to go. To cheer you up and keep you relaxed until spring fever strikes, we offer three suggestions of how to “chili out” for the rest of the winter with your friends and family–one fun idea for each type of dehydrated vegetarian chili we make!
1. Warm Up with Southwest Style Mixed Bean Chili on the Trail
Hearty hikers know that long range mountain views this time of year can be spectacular. Harmony House is located in Western North Carolina, very close to the Appalachian Trail. Without leaves blocking the view or summer haze clouding the horizon, the wintertime views from the AT are some of the best of the year. Though winter backpacking and camping trips require a bit of extra thought and preparation when it comes to your clothing and gear, your meal planning can be super simple if you pack some of our tasty Southwest Style Mixed Bean Chili.
We recently sent Megan Maxwell, who blogs online as Appalachian Trail Girl, one of our Gourmet Soup and Chili Packs to test out. Sometimes we do this kind of field research to make sure that our dehydrated meals and ingredients are as useful as possible on the trail for all types of hikers and backpackers. Megan is a successful AT thru hiker who currently works as a wilderness guide in the Utah desert. She not only backpacks for fun; she also does it professionally.
In her review, Megan wrote “The flavor is probably the best thing. Harmony House nailed the spice blend in these packets. One of my carnivorous co-workers took a bite of the Southwest Mixed Bean Chili and said in a delighted tone, “Whoa, is there meat in this?” I replied that it was vegan, actually.”
Our Southwest Style Mixed Bean Chili recipe includes a blend of premium dehydrated pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans, onions, and peppers. Though it is 100% vegan, we add texturized soy flour to the mix, which boosts protein and adds that meaty texture that probably helped convince Megan’s omnivorous co-worker the Chili wasn’t vegan (which it is!). The savory seasoning blend Megan loved includes garlic, rich tomato powder, nutritional yeast flakes, sea salt, crushed red pepper, chili powder, basil, cilantro, and cumin. (Choose our Mixed Bean Chili Mix if you just want the veggies and beans without the seasoning).
All of our soup and chili mixes can be rehydrated in cold water throughout the day while you hike, so you can cook fast and warm up quickly with hot chili once you set up camp. Cold soaking during the day will also help you conserve cooking fuel. When you set up camp, pour the rehydrated Southwest Style Mixed Bean Chili into your cookpot, add more water if necessary, and heat. If you need more calories in your meal you can add rice, pasta, ramen or any of your other favorite ingredients.
2. Throw an Unbelievable Black Bean Chili Cook Off
Warm your belly (and your heart) by inviting friends over for an Unbelievable Black Bean Chili cook off. Our recipe includes premium quality dehydrated black beans, dried vegetables including sweet corn, white onions, red and green peppers, celery, and garlic. To throw an unbelievably fun Unbelievable Black Bean Chili cook off, all you’ll need to do is cook up a pot of our just-add-water dried chili blend (or the unseasoned Black Bean Chili Mix) and invite friends to bring their favorite chili toppings such as:
Sour cream (or cashew cream)
Shredded cheese (vegan or dairy)
Chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos
Everyone can then customize their bowl of chili to their own tastes. Have a taste test! See who comes up with the most inventive way to enhance an already unbelievably tasty chili. And if that doesn’t warm you up enough, you can easily add a few extra alarms to our base chili. Our Unbelievable Black Bean Chili spice blend gets its heat from crushed red pepper and chili powder. We know some like it HOTTER. Add some of our delicious dehydrated jalapeños to the mix before cooking. Y-U-M!
And if you don’t believe our dried Unbelievable Black Bean Chili is as easy to cook as we say, then watch our Delicious No-Prep Black Bean Chili video.
3. Enjoy Verylicious Veggie Chili Nights at Home
Sitting down together at the kitchen table for dinner is one of the best ways for a household to stay connected and make wonderful memories. In our fast paced world, it can be tough to get home from work and make a fresh, nutritious hot meal. For the rest of the winter, instead of getting take-out, fast food, or pizza, try making a big pot of Verylicious Veggie Chili at home.
Our Verylicious Veggie Chili recipe, made with dehydrated pinto beans, white potatoes, carrots, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, sweet onions, and our zesty seasoning and herb blend (yes that is cilantro, cumin, and basil you taste) is just as tasty as the name implies. If you need a no or low sodium dried chili, or simply wish to have total creative control of the seasoning, then get our Vegetable Chili Mix. This option contains all the same high quality beans and veggies that you find in our Verylicious Veggie Chili Blend, but without the added salt and seasonings.
There are a lot of recipes for easy vegan chili out there, but we think that ours is the easiest of all. You won’t need to peel, chop, dice, or sauté any veggies to make our chili. No need to soak the beans overnight either. Just add water or broth and heat. Want to see how quickly you can have a hot and delicious dinner on the table for your family with our dried vegetarian chili mix? Watch our Yummy & Quick Veggie Chili video.
Our Verylicious Veggie Chili is so simple to make that you can have a hot dinner on the table in minutes–way faster than you can get a drive-thru dinner (and so much more healthy).
For more easy family dinner ideas, take a look at all of our Dried Soup and Chili Options.
We hope these tips have given you some fun ideas that will make the rest of winter a little warmer and a whole lot more fun for you and your family and friends. Bon Appétit (or should we say Bean Appétit?)!