Barley is an awesome meat substitute for chili. It gives you that texture and “filling-ness” that is normally taken up with ground beef but is so much better for you. I used to make this with Yves Ground Round but I’m moving away from processed vegetarian meat substitutes as much as possible. Throw in whatever veggies you want in this recipe, and make it your own!
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1-28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2-19 oz. rinsed cans of beans of your choice (here I use black and kidney beans)
- 10 oz. can of sliced mushrooms*
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/4 c. dry pot or pearl barley
- 1 c. H20
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tbsp. poblano chili pepper
- 1 tsp. Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Heat oil in large pot on medium-high. Add onions and celery and saute until onions are tender and nearly clear. Add garlic last and stir (garlic burns easily). Add zucchini and rinsed can of mushrooms and stir occasionally for a few minutes. Add can of diced tomatoes and cans of beans and mix well. Add 1c. of H20 and barley. Reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer until barley is cooked through. If chili begins to look too dry, add more water, a quarter cup at a time. When barley is cooked, add chili peppers, hot sauce, brown sugar and salt. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes so spices can release their flavours. Taste and adjust salt and spices to taste. Let sit a few minutes before serving! Tastes better the next day!
*Why do I use canned mushrooms? Yes, I know, living fresh mushrooms are probably better nutritive-wise and I always used them in chili up until recently. But something about the texture of canned mushrooms is more appealing to me and works better for chill. Of course, the recipe works just fine with fresh, sliced mushrooms. Add them to the celery at the beginning and sauté until cooked.