Although the origins of chili are unclear, most people agree that the first person to describe it in writing was J.C. Clopper, a 19th-century Texan. Often thought to be exclusively a savory and spicy stew of meat, tomatoes and sometimes beans, chili has long been a staple at family events and tailgate parties not only in the southwestern U.S. but across the country.
Yet this is not the whole story of this uniquely American dish. Cooks have tweaked it in numerous ways to reflect their own tastes. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that even those who don’t eat meat have adapted chili to suit their preferences. With its sassy mixture of beans, tomatoes, seasonings, peppers and sometimes meat substitutes, vegetarian chili has taken its place as an equally delicious way to enjoy this Mexican-inspired stew.
Whether or not it contains beef or venison, chili has traditionally been simmered for many hours, lovingly stirred by its preparer until it looks and tastes just right. Other connoisseurs have found ways to make it using the slow cookers that gained popularity in the 1970s, enabling the food to basically make itself over several hours while the busy cook worked or attended to other responsibilities. In recent years, another preparation method, the pressure cooker, has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Now safer and easier to use than ever, this kitchen device is making it possible for time-conscious people to prepare pressure cooker vegetarian chili in a matter of minutes.
No doubt, there are probably those who enjoy fussing over a hot stove for several hours, stirring and tweaking the proportions in their spicy tomato and bean stew. However, many harried cooks simply don’t have the time, yet they still want to prepare a delicious, filling and healthy dinner. Unlike the slow cooker, pressure cookers allow for nutrients to remain locked in the chili because cooking is done quickly and under pressure. The bottom line is the ultimate result: delicious pressure cooker vegetarian chili that rivals anything that may have been slowly simmered for eight hours on the stovetop.
Now that many of us are choosing to make meatless entrees at least a part of our weekly meal plans, this is a flavorful and simple choice that your whole family will love. Whether you eat it at home or take it to your next football extravaganza, it’s sure to be a zesty hit.