Tempeh and Black Bean Chili, Hearty, Healthful and Satisfying

Tempeh (tem-pay) is a delicious whole soyfood that is nothing like tofu. These tender cakes of cultured whole soybeans have a chewy texture and hearty consistency that even meat eaters like.

Rich in fiber and a nutrient dense source of high quality protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and unique phytonutrients, the mighty soybean delivers on all the criteria necessary to be regarded as a superfood.

According to Dr. James Anderson, chief investigator of the landmark meta-analysis on soy and heart health 1, soy foods are some of the healthiest foods you can put on the table. This is because they help fight what Dr. Anderson calls the ‘Big Five,’ heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and high-blood pressure.

Tempeh is easy to prepare. It is important to cube and steam raw tempeh for 15 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Steaming tenderizes this versatile ingredient, which will keep covered in the refrigerator and ready to pop into your favorite dish for up to 5 days.

Unlike the soupy style of many traditional chili recipes, our super tasty Tempeh Chili is gets its a thick, chunky texture from crumbled tempeh, creamy black beans and earthy cremini mushrooms.

Cremini mushrooms (also spelled crimini) is a ‘meaty’ cultivated brown or tan mushroom that are actually baby portobellos and a lot smaller than the larger more mature portobello.

Three Tablespoons of Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar.  That is my secret ingredient! It adds the perfect balancing note of sweet and tangy flavor that really perks up the chili.

Perfect for a crowd and a great potluck choice, you can make this tasty chili a day in advance. This dish gets even more delicious as the flavors blend and intensify overnight and saves time on game day.

Tempeh and Black Bean Chili  Video

2 (8 ounce pkg) Tempeh
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms diced (7 to 9 with stems)
1 (14 1/2 ounce can) Mexican Stewed Tomatoes, pulsed
2 (15 ounce cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 Tablespoons Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cube and steam tempeh over boiling water 15 minutes. Set aside. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat oil and crushed pepper over medium high heat, 1 minute.  Add garlic, onion and bell pepper. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Crumble tempeh into the pan, add beans and mushrooms.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pulse stewed tomatoes, briefly in a small blender and add to the pan with chili powder, rice vinegar and cilantro. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Analysis per serving 2 1/2 cups
Calories 165, Protein 11g, Carbohydrates 21g, Fiber 11g, Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Calcium 43 mg, Sodium 307mg

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter

1. James W. Anderson, M.D., Bryan M. Johnstone, Ph.D., and Margaret E. Cook-Newell, M.S., R.D. N Engl J Med 1995; 333:276-282