The Memphis Whole Foods is currently hosting a 28-day Engine 2 diet challenge. If you're not familiar with Engine 2, it's a "plant-strong," no-oil diet created by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn. You've no doubt seen Rip's line of Engine 2 brand cereals, crackers, almond milk, and more. And of course, there's a book all about the diet, appropriately titled The Engine 2 Diet.
Anyway, Whole Foods invited me to lead a cooking demo for one of their regular Monday night Engine 2 classes. They asked me to make something from Cookin' Crunk, but most of my recipes do contain oil. I'm not big on oil-free diets for everyone. But they're great if you need to lose weight or make a radical health turnaround. So I thought I'd use this opportunity to show people how easy it is to adapt an oil-containing recipe into an oil-free one.
I decided to make my Chipotle Chickpea Chili. The original recipe only has one tablespoon of oil, which is used to saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tofu. So I swapped out that oil with two tablespoons of water for a water saute. Also, the chipotle chili in the recipe fills the chili with so much flavor that you don't miss the oil at all.
The class went well! Everyone was so nice and attentive, and they all seemed to like my chili. I'm impressed that so many Memphians are interested in going vegan for their health.
Here's the chili I made:
And here's the oil-free recipe, adapted from Cookin' Crunk.
Chipotle Chickpea Chili
Adapted from Cookin’ Crunk: Eatin’ Vegan in the Dirty South by Bianca Phillips
Yields 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons water or broth
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 28-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon adobe sauce (from the canned chipotles)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Heat the broth on medium heat in a large non-stick stock pot for a minute or so. Add the onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If the liquid dries up before the onions have softened, add a couple more tablespoons of broth or water. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to cook down slightly. Keep adding broth or water by the tablespoon to keep the veggies from burning or sticking to the pan.
Add the cubed tofu and chipotle pepper and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until tofu is lightly browned.
Add the tomatoes (and the juice from the can), chickpeas, kidney beans, corn, tomato paste, chili powder, adobo sauce, salt, and cumin. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.